Featured CAMEOS: Show & Tell or Ask & Answer

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Bronwen, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    I can't say for sure about the tort but those definitely look like ivory to me instead of celluloid.
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  2. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Photos don't tell me how heavy or light each panel is, nor how thick. Can't rule out tortoiseshell glass from here. I see how the profiles look like ivory, but would really like to see them cleaned up & shown again. Whether glass & plastic or tortoise & ivory, a little soap or toothpaste & water won't hurt them. You can also use a soft toothbrush to get into crevices better than your fingertips can. Just don't soak & be careful with the lady with the gold accent in her hair. Probably post-WWII Italian.
    mirana likes this.
  3. Figtree3

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

    This cameo is very similar to the ones in question. It was a gift from my sister, and used to belong to her husband's aunt. Not sure whether these photos will help or not.

    The cameo as a whole is relatively light weight. If the background is not real tortoise shell, I think it is some sort of plastic. Seems too light to be glass. I didn't figure out a way to show the light coming through it, but it definitely has that "tortoise" look.

    The woman's head could be ivory or plastic. Not sure.
    I'm not the best photographer. The bottom of her neck area is thicker, and not really carved, so I tried to get a photo from the bottom in natural light. And had never noticed the grime (or corrosion) in the setting. Time to clean!

    I hope this helps in some way. And I'm curious about it now.

    Cameo veil.jpg

    Cameo veil2.jpg
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  4. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Thank you for adding this to the inquiry. Based on what I'm seeing of the edge of the background layers of both pieces, think we're looking at plastic there. The figures are carved; if they were molded they would be better. I hate to think they were still using ivory so casually mid-20th century, but the carvings aren't shell, and I can't come up with another material that might have been used that would look like this. Maybe little ivory fragments were still available, left over from earlier elephantine work.
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  5. Raccoon1977

    Raccoon1977 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
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  6. Ldavisbroome

    Ldavisbroome New Member

    I wonder if you can tell me anything about my grandma's cameo? I think the casing might be real gold? But I can't be sure... It looks like it. I roughly would like to know the time period, if you suspect the casing is real gold and what the hallmark means on the top and any of there is anything unusual or of any notable characteristics of the piece. Any help would be much appreciated, thank you! Also just to note that the pin is broken and will not stay so the latch mechanism in the photo is broken. The top of the brooch spells 'argentat' I believe? Which is a city in France but I cannot be sure that is what it actually spells or what the hallmark specifies. Hope you can help, kind regards!

    Attached Files:

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  7. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!


    I'm sure the gals will want to be nicer than I ......so let me get this out of the way...

    it's doesn't look like gold
    the wording I don't understand...but argent could mean silver..?

    and the carving...while it does look like shell, is at best a hurriedly turned out amateur work.
    I'd guess the 1950;s.........or so.


    Since I'm not the expert here......i'll let the girls fill in the blanks....
  8. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    Most shell cameos are from Italy. It is probably meant to be stamped "argentato" which is "silver plate." The shell image is mid-century Afaik, when they were mass-producing cameos and paying the workers for quantity and not quality. You can look back at pieces in this thread to see the wide variety of carvings.

    This would be considered costume jewelry, and is broken, so it would be sentimental value. You might see if a local jeweler would replace the catch, or add a bail for your family to continue wearing it.
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  9. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member


    Welcome Ldavisbroome. We like our photos full size, lots of us have eyes that aren't so young anymore.

    Your cameo is cut in helmet shell. The subject was common in the 1950s; she is not any particular goddess or famous beauty.

    You are correct that the safety clasp has lost the little piece that keeps the pin in place when closed.


    Although it doesn't quite make sense, wondering if it doesn't say 'ARGENTATA', Italian for silver plated. [And Mirana got there first.] More likely it is gilt silver.
  10. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I've actually learned a lot from this thread.....who'd a thunk it ???;):confused::confused::confused:
  11. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I'm pleased. When I started the thread I hoped it would be educational as well as an opportunity for people to show off their pretties.
  12. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    @Ldavisbroome If you want to make the piece wearable you could have a jeweller take off the hinge & clasp, or at least remove the pin stem, & attach a large jump ring to that little loop at the top, which is really meant to anchor a safety chain, so you could wear as a pendant.
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  13. Ldavisbroome

    Ldavisbroome New Member

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts and comments and sorry about the small pictures and not being able to reply to anyone directly... I've never used a forum before :eek::shy:! So I don't know how to do it. I appreciate knowing that it is silver and not gold and I can tell by the cameo itself that it is probably a 'mass produced' piece. I am not looking to sell it but to learn more about my family heirloom, so thank you for everyone's input I appreciate this :)
  14. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    This was the first forum I ever joined & still the only one where I participate regularly. You've already jumped over the hurdle where most newbies stumble, getting your photos uploaded. You just needed to tick the box to make them all full size instead of leaving them as thumbnails. Not sure what your concern is re: 'not being able to reply to anyone directly...' Most things we say to one another we say here in public as posts in a thread. If you do wish to contact a member privately, go to 'Inbox' (in small print at the upper right above your alerts) & start a conversation.

    You're correct that your cameo, although cut by hand, is basically mass produced. The workman cut many like it before & after this one. But only this one belonged to your grandmother, which makes it very special.
  15. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    Found an image of another sold Lamant commesso cameo on an auction data scraper site. He made quite a few of these, it seems. One of us needs to find one and buy it for sure. :D

    Lamant  Commesso Woman 2 B.jpg

    Lamant  Commesso Woman 2 C.jpg
  16. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Headed to an estate sale tomorrow morning. If I find one cheap enough, I volunteer as tribute.:D:D:D
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  17. PepperAnna

    PepperAnna Well-Known Member

    Very cool. Thanks for posting this one. I would love to find one for my collection.

    What is an auction data scraper site? I haven't heard this term before. Thanks.
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  18. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I imagine Worthpoint & Catawiki would qualify as such. Would love to be clued in to any others.
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  19. PepperAnna

    PepperAnna Well-Known Member

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  20. PepperAnna

    PepperAnna Well-Known Member

    Okay! Thanks. I knew about WP, but not Catawiki. I didn't know what these sites were called.
    Bronwen likes this.
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