Featured Stone Cameo??? Male depiction

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Simona Buhus, Jan 18, 2022.

  1. Simona Buhus

    Simona Buhus Well-Known Member

    Hello again,
    A friend of mine bought this Cameo and would like to know more about it. I have not seen it, but it looks like stone.
    It’s not hallmarked, the frame tests as 18 carat gold, she thinks the pin has been replaced.
    I recommend her this site, and to few other friends, hope they will join.
    @Bronwen I wonder if you can recognise the depiction and if it’s indeed a stone, and if so, which one. How old do you think it is?
    She only sent me two photos, I got everyone around me into Cameos :)
    I have recently purchased a Medusa cameo, @Bronwen I think you will be Intrested to see that, will create another post shortly.
    @Any Jewelry

    Please feel free to comment and copy anyone Intrested.
    Kind regards,
    Simona 6EAB3F49-451E-42B8-82F0-67BF8BBDA5CE.jpeg 31B5F29E-3C5D-4E3B-9B54-B466B2273D0F.jpeg
    Figtree3, kyratango, Born2it and 4 others like this.
  2. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    looks like shell from here.....not stone...:confused:
    Figtree3, dude and Bronwen like this.
  3. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    From the front it looks like shell to me too, but from the back it looks like stone. If I had it in hand, I would want to examine closely the areas I have outlined below to see whether they are what I call the aura seen sometimes on hardstone at the edge of delicate details such as curls of hair, or are the edges of 2 separate pieces that have been put together with an adhesive, some of which has oozed out.


    The thinness of the nose argues for stone. Cleaning him up might resolve things.

    I'm not surprised it tests as 18ct, the strength of that C clasp & pin stem is characteristic of higher quality pieces. It is consistent with better pieces from the late 19th century.

    Something has been done to the back of it. Weirdly, the damage does not seem to have anything to do with the hinge @Hollyblue Would you take a look? Did someone start an attempt to remove the cameo from the frame?

    Suggest to your friend that she look on the pin stem to see if this is a mark. Could be the French eagle head.


    This is meant to look like a Roman emperor. I'm not good with Roman emperors. However, my instincts tell me it is the portrait of a private individual, styled to look like a Roman.
  4. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    That frame, hinge and clasp certainly looks late 19th. I've seen damage like that from someone forcing things open or closed or twisting as it was removed. 18 ct is soft. I wonder if he's some kind of pietra dura: a shell over stone, two layers.

    Does look like a Roman fellow.
  5. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    That's the determination I'm trying to make. All a single piece of hardstone (pietra dura; banded agate; sardonyx) or shell glued to stone or glass. Both occur. I picked up a term I like from an auction house one time: assembled piece.

    Shell on stone:

    Shell on Agate 3A adj.jpg Shell on agate 3E.jpg

    If the white figure is shell, you will be able to see the brown layer behind the white when looked at from the side, & sometimes some glue.
    Figtree3, Born2it and Aquitaine like this.
  6. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    @Bronwen, I did enlarge 2X and sharpened a bit.....at the lower edges on his shoulders.....it looks like he could be "layered"?? But from that one image pose, that's all I saw.....

    kyratango and Bronwen like this.
  7. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Thanks for giving it a try. If I had it in hand, I would be checking the line where the figure meets the ground along the edge with a loupe. I'd look at it from both sides with a strong light behind. I'm not sure what color the background layer is. Even with direct examination, I can't tell black onyx from black glass. Photos provided are not adequate to make a determination about the true nature of the piece. It's possible it would look very different if it were cleaned up.

    @Simona Buhus Note to friend: If you decide to clean, do not soak for any length of time unless it is determined to be all one piece. If it is assembled it could come apart. I find toothpaste & soft toothbrush a good method for cleaning things that can get wet a little but can't be soaked.
  8. Fid

    Fid Well-Known Member

    I'd invent a new type - shlone.
    Simona Buhus and Bronwen like this.
  9. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Shalom to you too. :)
    Fid likes this.
  10. Simona Buhus

    Simona Buhus Well-Known Member


    Thank you for all the information, I have passed it on. I have asked my friend to send more photos, if she has the time.I will post them if I receive them.
    It been a learning curve for me and this post has been very informative, thank you so much for shearing.
    Kind regards,
    Figtree3 and Bronwen like this.
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