Featured Cameo info needed….

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by TanyaG, Dec 20, 2021.

  1. TanyaG

    TanyaG Active Member

    Hi! I have a couple of cameos I’d like to sell, but I know nothing about them. They’re made of shells? That’s all I know. So….

    1. Can anyone tell me what time period this one may have come from? The setting and closure look a bit old to me.

    2. *if i’m not allowed to ask the following, just let me know:
    Any ideas on a fair asking price? I would most likely list it on Etsy, possibly ebay. Probably not worth much, I know, just thought I’d ask.

    Thanks ever so much!

    (also, I can’t find any hallmarks on it)

    IMG_2156 2.jpg IMG_2160 2.jpg IMG_2157 2.jpg IMG_2158 2.jpg IMG_2155 2.jpg
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  2. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    My inexpert opinion, shell, early 20th century, could be a silver mount. Problem is the crack on the lower right.

    Once you know what you have the best way to price it is to look for similar age, size, condition and material cameos in completed listings on the site where you are going to sell it.

    The best person to help you is @Bronwen
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  3. TanyaG

    TanyaG Active Member

    I couldn’t tell if that was a crack or just the way the shell was naturally. Darn it all!
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  4. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    It looks like a crack, looks like dirt is caught in it. If you give it a bath it may be less noticeable, but wait for others to chime in before you do anything.

    Do you have another one? You mentioned you have two you want to sell.
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  5. TanyaG

    TanyaG Active Member

    Oh, yes! I’ll snap some photos, be back shortly. :)
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  6. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    While we're waiting, the first one is carved in helmet shell, no doubt by an Italian cutter. It does not depict anyone in particular, just a pretty lady, extremely popular in the early decades of the 20th. I'm guessing 1930s on this one, though there may be other opinions.

    It is not uncommon, almost the rule, that these type of cameo mounts are made of more than 1 type of metal: a base metal for the bezel around the cameo; precious metal for ornamentation. That may be the case here & it is quite likely that the decoration on yours is silver. If it was set in Italy, which I think probable, the silver will be of 800 fineness.
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  7. TanyaG

    TanyaG Active Member

    Wow! Thanks for the insight.

    These are all more contemporary. The blue glass(?) has “Germany” stamped in reverse, the second one has something stamped - maybe “800” that kind of fell off the edge, and the earrings are marked “Wells Ster” (hard to see, but I’ve had other Wells pieces, so it makes sense.) IMG_2225.JPG IMG_2227.JPG IMG_2239.JPG IMG_2230.JPG IMG_2234.JPG IMG_2236.JPG
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  8. TanyaG

    TanyaG Active Member

    The faces on the earrings are kinda creepy looking, IMO.
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  9. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I call ones like this hatchet faces because they look like they were cut with a hatchet. I can't imagine how many of these have been cranked out over the years by Neapolitan workshops. Suspect a practiced artisan can make one in a very short time.
  10. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    The first one I call Headband Girl, & I believe her to be the most reproduced cameo in the world. If yours says 'Germany' & not 'W. Germany' we can date it to post reunification. The design does not seem to have appeared before WWII, but there are many that say W. Germany. I have a sneaky suspicion she is still in production. Maybe another member will have some thoughts on age based on the setting; that's not really my area.

    The second, mother of pearl one could have been made any time from the 1950s to the present. Again, maybe another member can narrow it down from the setting.

    The cameos in the earrings are genuinely hand carved helmet shell. My opinion of the quality of the workmanship is expressed above. These are no worse than most small cameos I see in earrings & bracelets & they pass casual scrutiny when worn. I can't date them by appearance. If you're familiar with the maker Wells you're ahead of me. I don't want you to feel bad about my harsh judgement on the cameos. At least they don't look like this:

    Urania askew adj.jpg
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  11. dude

    dude Well-Known Member

    I agree. The sharp angles, I guess.
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  12. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Not the age, but I have a suspicion about the origin. I think Neugablonz, a town in Bavaria where many refugee costume jewellery makers from Bohemia settled after WWII.

    To me, the oval pads look odd on a post-reunification brooch, I always thought they were earlier. Maybe the costume joolies can fill me in on that.
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  13. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    I think headband girl's cameo dates no earlier than 1955, the reflective finish on the rhinestones is called "aurora borealis", invented by Swarovski in 1955.
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  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    No doubt about it.
    I know those oval brooch pads were also used in the 50s, do you happen to know if they were still used after 1990 (reunification of Germany)?
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  15. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    I don't know, maybe someone else does :)
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  16. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Reminds me of something by Federico Castellón, or maybe Pablo Picasso? Both of whose works I like, btw.
  17. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I was wondering if there could possibly be a W under there, but don't see room for it.

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  18. TanyaG

    TanyaG Active Member

    There is a W! It’s on one of the flower petals (or whatever they are), I totally missed it.
  19. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    So post-AB, pre-reunification. Probably 1960s sometime.
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  20. LauraGarnet02

    LauraGarnet02 Well-Known Member

    Yes @Bronwen , I'm curious too. What is the story behind this Cameo lady? Urania? Is it yours or a picture you found on the internet somewhere?
    Urania askew adj.jpg

    She's bringing to my mind all the Botero threads that have been posted lately. Plus, "pondering my orb" memes that have been all over the Internet the last few months.
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