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Grandmother's Cameo

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Posted 7 years ago


(3 items)

I recently received this cameo that belonged to my paternal grandmother. She was Sicilian and passed away in the late 1950's. The lady with the urn seems like an Italian or Greek theme.

The piece has been stored for over 50 years, so it needs cleaning, which might also tell me what the metal is. The clasp is broken, but it could be worn as a necklace.

Any suggestions as to age or material are welcome. It is a definitely carved cameo. No artist markings of any kind.

Unsolved Mystery

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  1. Artemisia7, 7 years ago
    I think that cameo, dont needs cleaning, because old patina is desirable....The metal could be the brass, to reparate the broken clasp is not big problem, every good jewellerist can do it!
  2. Robin, 7 years ago
    It's from the 1920-30's. If you want to fix the clasp look for a bench jeweler who has a laser welder (they don't use heat and can weld different metals to each other).
  3. lovesilver, 7 years ago
    Thanks, Robin! Great info.
  4. LGregg, 7 years ago
    Your cameo is a hand carved shell cameo from Italy. The picture is a classical Geek or Roman woman. The frame looks to be tarnished sterling silver, but it should be tested to be sure. Cleaning it is good, but only with a silver polishing cloth, do not dip it in silver dip cleaner. Brass smells like brass, silver has no smell. Laser welding for this sort thing is good because the cameo will not take heat. I usually get paid for this since I am a jewelry appraiser/gemologist. I just thought I would try to help since this piece would be under your deductible and you would probably not take it to an appraiser.
  5. lisa lisa, 7 years ago
    I'm going to guess that the jug indicates she's a follower of Dionysus or Bacchus, known a Maenad or a Bacchante.
  6. lovesilver, 7 years ago
    LGregg and Lisa - thanks very much for the information and advice!

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