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Vintage Black Cameo in Silver (perhaps faux)

In Costume Jewelry > Costume Pendants > Show & Tell and Fine Jewelry > Cameos > Show & Tell.
Cameos96 of 424Large Full Body Cameo Belt Buckle my heart is melting!!Venus & Cupid
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    Posted 4 years ago

    (191 items)

    I think I may actually have the chain that goes to this pendant but that didn't occur to me until I started typing this post. Nice molding albeit hard to make out. Unsure if this is a piece of 'mourning' jewelry or just happens to be carved in black.

    Back of cameo doesn't give any additional info unfortunately.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    1. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 4 years ago
      I believe this cameo is molded, not carved.
    2. KarenLR71, 4 years ago
      Efesgirl - oh my gosh..yes..molded, not carved. I lost my 'words' earlier. Sometimes I wonder if my Mom's dementia is/was contagious. TY, that is the word I was looking for
    3. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 4 years ago
      :-)))))) I know the feeling. I'll be 64 soon.
    4. KarenLR71, 4 years ago
      lol...I understand...although I think in terms of what I've seen here at least, you could give some 20 year olds a run for their money
    5. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 4 years ago
      The cameo design originated in West Germany, so all such pieces are post WWII, long after mourning jewelry was in vogue. Not all jewelry, maybe not even most, that uses one of these cameos was made in W. Germany; they seem to have been widely exported. She comes in so many colors, cameo & intaglio, right facing & left facing, have to suspect she is still in production.

      Refreshing to have someone not automatically assume that because a piece is black it must be mourning jewelry.
    6. KarenLR71, 4 years ago
      cameosleuth, thank you for the information as to where the cameo originated and that these pieces are post WWII (after 1944/45, which indeed would be long after the mourning jewelry that I picture when reading 'period pieces' more with Victorian or Elizabethan times do I have that part correct? I know some seem shocked to find hair could often be found interwoven with mourning pieces.
    7. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 4 years ago
      After Queen Victoria lost her beloved Albert in 1861, she wore widow's weeds for the rest of her very long life & turned mourning into a fashion trend. It seems to have become a knee-jerk response to label any black jewelry as 'mourning'. Think after 1900 we can begin to see things simply as black. I also doubt whether every cameo of Dionysus that has a golden curl in the memento compartment on the back represents a lost child. Surely sometimes a mother wanted a token of a living child?

      After finally identifying the subject, I made my first post to the CW site:
      I can't believe someone would have put the photo of a baby in a locket with a cameo of the Emperor Nero if the child had been dead. Probably a perfect terror!

      Pieces that use braided hair, such as a bracelet or watch fob, or that have more than one color of hair in the memento compartment, particularly if one of them is white, I would have to suspect are genuine expressions of mourning, not just a fashion statement. And of course anything that says In Memoriam on it is.

      There is a distinction to be made between jewelry that actually expresses grief & jewelry that is merely in the fashion of the day. It is one thing to call both 'mourning jewelry', another to so designate all things black in perpetuity. I was pleased to see someone recognize the possibility that the term may not apply in all cases. :)

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