Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Large Mystery Cameo " Parfum La’Gutierre, Paris 1832"

In Fine Jewelry > Cameos > Show & Tell.
Cameos184 of 432Set of 2 cameo plaques that look like castesHelp with Maker Mark
Love it
Like it

MALKEYMALKEY loves this.
MrstyndallMrstyndall loves this.
RadegunderRadegunder loves this.
Vynil33rpmVynil33rpm loves this.
swampdoggswampdogg loves this.
AmatoorPikrAmatoorPikr loves this.
kyratangokyratango loves this.
TreyTrey loves this.
kivatinitzkivatinitz loves this.
OldfashionedgirlOldfashionedgirl loves this.
racer4fourracer4four loves this.
TassieDevilTassieDevil loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
mikelv85mikelv85 loves this.
melaniejmelaniej loves this.
auraaura loves this.
NevadaBladesNevadaBlades loves this.
EfesgirlEfesgirl loves this.
antiqueroseantiquerose loves this.
See 19 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 7 years ago

    (1223 items)

    I really need your help with this cameo. My husband bought it for me in antique store. There was no information with the piece. Here is what I think (I could be completely wrong):
    1. The cameo is very large; it’s 2.75 inches.
    2. Based on the back, I believe it could be a vintage item, possibly dating as early as the 1930’s.
    3. I saw two similar ones on line, stating that the material is gutta percha, however, most of the images of jewelry made of this material seems to be brown or black. It might be some kind of plastic.
    4. The back stamp “ Parfum La’Gutierre, Paris 1832” seems to be misleading, fake, or made for an anniversary.
    5. I think the item could be a promotional or advertising piece.
    6. It could also be a total fake, although the frame, marked 925, is real silver.

    Please help me out with this item. I like it no matter what.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for looking:)

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    See all
    Antique Victorian Carved White Lava Cameo Greek God ARES 14k Gold 2 Brooch Pin
    Antique Victorian Carved White Lava...
    195pc Vintage to Now Estate Rhinestone Jewelry Lot Trifari Coro Lisner Napier+
    195pc Vintage to Now Estate Rhinest...
    Batman #655 (DC Comics 2006) 1st Damian Wayne cameo
    Batman #655 (DC Comics 2006) 1st Da...
    Batman #655 (2006) CGC 9.8 1st Cameo Appearance of Damien Wayne
    Batman #655 (2006) CGC 9.8 1st Came...
    Antique Victorian Carved White Lava Cameo Greek God ARES 14k Gold 2 Brooch Pin
    Antique Victorian Carved White Lava...
    See all


    1. antiquerose antiquerose, 7 years ago
      Stunning !!!!!!!!!!!

      I do not think it is Gutta Percha as I have a GP brooch here seen by an antique appraser and this is what I know GP to look like

      Yours looks to be Amber -- carved. I think you may have something VERY special there !!!
    2. antiquerose antiquerose, 7 years ago
      ??? Could it be Amber ( or Baltic Amber ) ?? I am just guessing here.....
    3. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 7 years ago
      Very pretty! Something that should be right up kyratango's alley. I did an image search and found nothing. I think it's an advertising piece which dates to much later than the 1930s - not earlier than the late 1950s.
    4. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Thanks so much for trying to help me with this mystery, Efesgirl and antiquerose.
      I don't think is amber although it has the glow of it, especially on the back. But you are correct, antiquerose, it doesn't look like gutta percha either.
      Efesgirl, I found one just like it but with garnets, instead of pearls. I have to try find it again; I didn't save it, darn!
    5. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 7 years ago
      Oh! I didn't see that one....
    6. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      I found this one:
    7. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      I am not sure if this is the same: (mine is a bit different in the back/not open)
      I am just saying: Only because someone says it is gutta percha, it doesn't have to be correct - LOL
    8. antiquerose antiquerose, 7 years ago
      So true!! Just because another post says theirs is Gutta Percha, does not mean it is.

      I was under the impression from the Antique appraiser I saw that Gutta Percha is also know as......... JET BLACK or MOURNING JEWELRY as it is Black. Plus she did some test on mine to confirm mine was Gutta percha.

      For my Brooch ( Just a FYI) I have written appraisal/value/info from the Lady as I had paid to have it done. It was like a mini antique Roadshow. OR,,,,,,,maybe she was all wrong...............LOL............
    9. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 7 years ago
      Yes, the two links were to the same brooch. I found this, I hope it's helpful with identifying your brooch "substance":

      "Gutta percha is light sensitive and has a tendency to turn brown with exposure to light (and oxygen) over the years. Most of the gutta percha jewelry seen today is brown and not black like it was originally. The color is a clue to its material nature. Gutta percha is also molded, not carved, so there won’t be any visible tool marks on the piece. Since it’s basically a rubber-like material, it will smell like rubber when it’s rubbed briskly on fabric. And the most effective way to tell if your jewelry is gutta percha- TASTE IT. Seriously. Please wash it before and after tasting it and in fact, taste it at your own risk. But if you choose to taste it, it will taste salty. If it doesn’t taste salty, it’s not gutta percha."
    10. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Antiquerose, your brooch is beautiful and based on some of the pictures I have seen it looks just perfect for an item made of gutta percha.
    11. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Efesgirl, thanks for the link. It was really informative. Now I will go and have a lick - LOL
    12. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 7 years ago
      Hahahaha! Let me know how it tastes.
    13. antiquerose antiquerose, 7 years ago
      < ...Drum Roll.... > and it Tastes like _ _ _ _ ?
    14. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Well, it doesn't!!!
      It has a smell, a very faint smell, but I have no clue what it reminds me of.
      So I guess for the time being it remains a mystery. I do like a mystery but I like solving it even better!
    15. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      From what I gather, there is the wood & there is a "latex" from the wood that is, of course different. It seemed like this party was slowing down a bit, so I thought I would add a drop or 2 of catalyst. LOL !! I really love the hues, whatever it is .
    16. AmatoorPikr, 7 years ago
      ...then, may find this interesting BB2.........

      "Gutta-percha was first introduced by a Connecticut dentist, Dr. Asa Hill, in
      1847, as an option for a plastic restorative material. He mixed it with carbonate of
      lime and quartz and called it “Hill’s stopping”. In 1867, Dr. G.A. Bowman claimed
      that he used gutta-percha to fill canals in a first molar (Gatewood 2007).

      Gutta-percha is produced from rubber trees that are native to Malaysia,
      Borneo, Indonesia and Brazil. Gutta-percha is the trans isomer of polyisoprene,
      C5H8 (rubber). It exists in two crystalline forms, ? and ?. Raw gutta-percha comes in ? form, and commercially manufactured gutta-percha points exist in ?
      crystalline form.

      The mechanical properties of the two different forms are the same;
      however, there are some thermal and volumetric differences (Goodman et al.
      1974). When gutta-percha is in solid ? form, it’s easy compactable. When guttapercha in ? form is heated above 46oC, it changes to ? phase and becomes
      pliable and can be made to flow.

      This is very useful when thermoplastic techniques are utilized."
    17. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      I don't know what to say Pikr ! Think you said it all ! LOL !!
    18. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      This is all so interesting! Blunderbuss2, thanks for your drops of catalyst:)
      Amatoorpkr, thanks for the information. It's greatly appreciated!
    19. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 7 years ago
      Think your other correspondents have found these 2 already:

      The name on the back is Parfum La Gatierre.

      It is difficult to be sure, but in some of the photos these pieces appear to be slightly translucent, which I believe would rule out gutta percha. Also, to the best of my knowledge, gutta percha has not really been used since the advent of polymers/resin & think this is a vintage but still fairly modern piece.
    20. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 7 years ago
      Well, this is all very interesting! Cameosleuth has got me thinking that this could be an artificial resin rather than a natural material which has been reworked.
    21. kyratango kyratango, 7 years ago
      I found the same Etsy one, and another in Deutsch language, whic I guess isn't hard to read for you ;-)

      They say around 1900/1920 (rather 1920 IMO), and not gutta percha
    22. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Thanks s much for your comment/information, cameosleuth. I don't think that my cameo is translucent. It appears almost as if it was made of two different materials. The back looks almost like faux tortoise shell. The front looks more like faux coral. I tested the back for Bakelite, but it was negative. I didn't want to put anything on the front because I didn't want to damage it.

      I also think that the cameo is not an antique piece because of the style of the lady's face and the sterling marking (925) and the mechanism. (I wonder where some of the sellers got that idea from)

      Looking at the closure on the back and comparing it with known examples, I concluded that it might be from the around the 1930's, but, of course, I could be wrong.

      I also thought that it was possible that the cameo was made as a 100 year business anniversary or promotional item. It refers to 1832, therefore 1932 would be about right.

      Having said all of that, there is always the possibility that someone, lets say in the 1960/1970's or so, made this cameo to look like it was old. That would not surprise me either.

      I am wearing it today and must say that it is certainly a conversation piece. Also, my husband paid a fraction of what the sellers are asking, so I don't feel bad no matter what... LOL
    23. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Kyratango, your comment came while I was typing. I am a very slow typist LOL.
      In that link they mention that the cameo might be issued for the release of a new fragrance. That makes sense to me because the lady seems to be in a garden, surrounded by flowers and birds. I wonder were the idea of it being gutta percha started!!! They also think that it might have been mass produced in around the 1920's. I am not sure about the age but I agree that the setting is very detailed and fine. I suppose that I will get to the bottom of it, eventually:)
    24. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      I forgot to say thanks for the link, kayratango:)
    25. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      I don't care if it's a petroleum product. I like the design & tones. Now, can somebody point me toward the exit. I seem to be trapped in CW.
    26. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 7 years ago
      bb2 - it is quite a striking piece, whatever it's made out of! :-))))
    27. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Mary, You are so correct! I feel the same.
      Blunderbuss2, I agree with you too!
      And yes, Efesgirl, whatever it is made of it doesn't matter much. It looks interesting....
    28. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 7 years ago
      I completely agree that if you are pleased by the piece, it does not matter very much, if at all, what it is made of. And your husband wanted you to have something beautiful & interesting, something even more valuable.

      Now, to me the new mystery is why searching for the name of the perfum really only turns up examples of this brooch, not any actual perfume? Anyone out there who reads Russian?
      Is it possible there was no such parfumerie? That this was a brand name, the way there is the contemporary maker who tags their pieces 1928, the name of the company, nothing to do with the year of manufacture?

      The mystery continues.
    29. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Cameosleuth, thank you for your kind remarks. You really put in words how I feel about the issue.
      As for the mystery, I tried really hard to translate the words in the Russian link but other than the obvious words, I couldn't figure out anything:(
      I searched the perfume too, but nothing came up either. Could it have been a completely irrelevant perfumery or just an imaginary name? Like you said, it is rather possible that there was no such maker. What puzzles me is that the only thing ever coming up is the brooch, no other pieces.
      There is, however, the possibility that this piece was made by a joker willing to confuse everyone. If this is the case, he/she did a good job - LOL
    30. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      Cameosleuth, I put the Russian text into a translator and this is what I got (I don't think it helps solving the mystery - LOL):

      "Socket 925 silver , amber ( grenades ? ) . On the back of the stamp «PARFUM LA

      GATIERRE PARIS 1832 " . " 925 " is also a stigma on the rim . Subject bears traces of use .

      Manufacturing France. The first half of the 19th century."

      By the way, I think there is some confusion between the term "19th century and the 1900's :)

    31. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 7 years ago
      Guessing socket = setting & stigma = mark Think Russian site succumbing to the natural temptation to see a piece as being of the higher quality it is imitating rather than seeing it for what it really is.
      If they are saying it is 19th century because 1832 appears on the back, they are ignoring the later date, or, as you say, confusing 19th century with the 1900s. As for amber, we have found a handful of identical pieces, indicating molded mass production.
      It seems very reasonable to suppose this was issued in, or soon after, 1932, as a commemorative item; just very odd not to be able to catch a whiff of the parfumerie. Google keeps suggesting that I am really searching for gateau - cake!
    32. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      I totally agree with you, cameosleuth.
      It's interesting for me to see that the item turned up on a German site, a Russian one, I also believe a listing from either the US or another English speaking place, and mine was sold in Canada.
      Maybe the suggestion should have been "cadeau" (gift), meaning it was a promotional item???
    33. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 7 years ago
      Google thinks I want a gaterie (circumflex on the A), a French cake shop.

      Here we go again:

      It astounds me that people would sell & buy an item with the dates 1832-1932 on it, & believe it was Victorian because of the earlier date, completely ignoring the one 100 years later. And just to be persnickety, Victoria's reign began in 1837, so they are not even correctly misidentifying it.

      Although I don't think Google is confusing gateau with cadeau, that it was a promotional item & possibly one given away to customers seems a strong possibility. If Parfum La Gatierre were the brand name for a jewelry maker, think we would turn up other pieces with other designs, not just this one.

      She is very fetching. Surprised I had not seen her before.
    34. freiheit freiheit, 7 years ago
      I agree with you, again!
      Don't you think it's strange, too, when people call something antique when the item is vintage or just plain and simple old!
      Anyway, I truly appreciate your input.
    35. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 6 years ago
      It has been a while since we did our best with this piece. Another has turned up on eBay & seller contributes some further info, although without stating source(s):
    36. NYsidepath, 3 years ago
      My wife and I have one just like yours. I think the material is pressed glass (I could have that checked at the Corning Glass Museum.). I think it was manufactured to be sold at the Paris Expo that was to be in 1832. That expo was cancelled due to the riots and cholera epidemic that followed.
    37. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 3 years ago
      It is unfortunate that photos cannot be added in replies, which would make it easier to support my line of thinking. Over time I have come to believe there was a single maker of cameos like the 'La Gatierre' piece as well as of another cameo, which appears in several different colors mimicking tortoiseshell & red coral in addition to pink coral:

      This one also appears on the lid of little boxes marked T. P. Danbiere Paris on the bottom. Most of the boxes have a tortoiseshell look; the cameo is the same material but often silvered. I have one of these & know it is some sort of resin. A naughty cat taught me it can chip & splinter very much like glass, but it definitely is not. Another cameo I'm sure comes from the same source features a young women in a frilly dress holding a bird to her breast.

      The same manufacturer made a line of faux marble decorative plaques that are regularly mistaken for the real thing. They were careful to conceal their actual identity by using an assortment of names & reproduction medallions to mislead & give the impression that the firm was French. Artificial, yes, but quality very high & images selected always highly appealing. Think the polymer is too sophisticated to be pre-WWII, too fragile to be very recent & I have seen no evidence they are still in business. Possible they were French, but both Danbiere & Gatierre are weird spellings; Danbierre & Gattiere would be more likely. Searching for these names finds only the cameo & the boxes.

      For more, with photos:
    38. freiheit freiheit, 3 years ago
      cameosleuth, my head is spinning! Looks like my cameo is part of a greater conspiracy, LOL! I appreciate your information and also the link to Antiquers. It is all very interesting. I guess, somewhere out there, someone must have a great time watching how the mystery deepens. If I understand correctly, nobody knows for sure who and when these items were made.
      I never really believed that the cameo is the real thing. But I have to say that I always get great comments when I wear it. That, plus the fact that it is a little mystery, is good enough for me. Please keep me updated. I would really appreciate it:)
    39. freiheit freiheit, 3 years ago
      NYsidepath, thanks very much for your comment. Looks like you might have the real thing, possibly the inspiration for mine. Mine is too light to be pressed glass.
      Having said that, I would love to see yours!
    40. freiheit freiheit, 3 years ago
      Cameosleuth, did you see this one?
    41. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 3 years ago
      Give me strength. I do hope no one falls for that description.

      As with Incolay, I believe pieces from this mystery source have their own interest & value. Have never seen any one of the pieces I attribute to them that was poorly made & only very rarely cracked. The cameos are frequently in sterling. The modeling excellent, the images irresistibly appealing. Then there's the scam of all the misleading clues to origin. It's a chain: Cameo B is in the same setting as Cameo A; this box has Cameo B on its lid; Plaque A says T.P. Danbierre just like the box; Plaque B has the same medallion embedded in the back as Plaque A...

      Evidently they also sold to other jewelry manufacturers because one just turned up in a post on the Antiquers board that was made by Coro. It's the frilly woman holding a large bird in black & white. Visually indistinguishable from hardstone.
    42. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 3 years ago
      Etsy seller's photos & description make it clear the label on the back actually says La' Gatierre, which is even more pseudo-French.
    43. plein-air-painter plein-air-painter, 3 years ago
      My observations, not an expert, just a student. The back of this piece is stamped 925, that is a relatively modern mark. The hook to wear as a pendant is also relatively crude in construction. The bezel setting for the cameo is way wider than the cameo. This looks like a 20th century costume manufacture. 19th century jewelers were not sloppy in their bezel settings. The material does not look like gutta percha as my understanding is that it is a burnt compressed opaque material. I would recommend 'How to be a Jewelry Detective' as this book carefully describes this material and how to recognize it. Lastly, the figure portrayed is charming and beautiful but her whole style is 1930s to me. The 1930s saw a huge interest and revival in French Art, culture and especially style.
      Sill a wonderful piece, maybe only early 20th century. Enjoy, it is old and beautiful.
    44. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 3 years ago
      The artificial materials suitable for making molded cameos that were available prior to WWII, as far as I know, were not this sophisticated. Gutta percha, Vulcanite & similar that made reasonable facsimiles of bog oak & jet; Celluloid, Galalith, etc., that could mimic ivory; glass imitating stone (the Romans were already doing this). These are what you see until the mid-20th century. The 'marble' plaques this company made are incredibly convincing. The technology just did not exist in the early 20th. Or the work of some genius chemist way ahead of his time was held a close secret & then got lost. Some of their pieces have 19th century dates on them, completely improbable.
    45. freiheit freiheit, 3 years ago
      Just found my images here:
      If anyone ever finds out out who made it, let me know, pls.
      I bet the person(s) behind the whole story must have a really good laugh.

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.