Sunday, February 8, 2009
Cameos have been tokens of love and inspiration for thousands of years. A cameo can be a figure or scene carved in relief. An Italian word, meaning "to engrave", it is also thought to have origins from the ancient Hebrew/Arabic word "kamea", meaning "charm" or "amulet."
Throughout the centuries, the popularity and significance of cameos have endured. The earliest significant cameos emerged from Greece and Rome. France's Louis XIV, the "Sun King," appointed several advisors to acquire entire collections of ancient cameos and engraved gems. France continued to dominate cameo styling until the 1700s. Many other European countries followed suit in different periods, including England and Germany. Tiffany's produced beautiful cameos in the United States during the 1900s Art Deco heyday.
Cameos have been fashioned from all sorts of materials including glass, stone, shell, ivory and various metals...and more recently in plastics and bakelite. A variety of subjects have been featured in cameos ... including deities from Greek mythology, scenes from nature and likenesses of women and children. The continued popularity of cameos defines their enduring grace and appeal.
Mignonne has acquired a collection of cameos which will be made into lovely pins, just in time for Valentine's Day. Affordably priced from $15 - $25, these would make a unique surprise for your special Valentine!