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Victorian Era Cameos
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Victorian Era Cameos

The Victorian Era is named for Queen Victoria reign in England from 1837 to 1901.  Many antiques and collectibles dealers specialize in this field because they are attracted to the intricate and ornate designs that this era produced not only in celery glass, as you read about previously, but many household items and even clothing that have since become collectible.  However, some of the more popular items from that period are jewelry and in particular Victorian Era cameos.

A cameo is a portrait or scene carved in relief with a contrasting colored background.  Although cameos were made from many different materials including gemstones, stone, and sometimes coral, a lot of designers liked to make cameos from shells because they were easier to carve.  More people were also able to purchase cameos at the time obviously because the cameos made of shells were of course less expensive than those made of gemstones.

The most prized procession for a woman of the Victorian Era however was a cameo made in her likeness.  As such, portrait cameos became very popular.  However, earlier cameos from the period showcased women in plain attire and later in the period, at the insistence of women of the period, designers started making the portraits of women better finely dressed and jeweled.  Prized examples of cameos from the Victorian Era especially the later ones that are more intricately designed and carved can bring in thousands of dollars.