What is the cameos and how they differ from intaglios? Where and when did they appear? Why the interest in them is not quenched yet? Where to find antique cameos and modern jewelry with them? “Kommersant Style” has made historical inquiry a selection of photographs and paintings from different eras that show how they used to wear and how to wear them today. Because jewelry cameo in the collection means the taste of its owner for unconventional jewelry and respect for history. Besides of the most ancient types of jewelry cameos — one of the most accessible and the most sentimental. And then, and then in times of a pandemic means a lot.Carved gems are divided into two categories: intaglios (with profound relief) and cameos (with exposed terrain). In ancient times they were worn in the form of rings. And, despite the small size, they have inherited the artistic tradition of carved monumental marble, vases or bronze. Cut gems in semi-precious stone — carnelian, agate, Jasper, chalcedony, rock crystal, amethyst, garnet, or sapphire and then mounted in gold, silver or bronze often of simple design, but sometimes with a light decorative finish. Of course, the size of the gems reflected the social status, taste and wealth of the owner.The earliest gems were cut by hand using iron tools, sharp drill bits, cutting wheels and a light abrasive powder. Some Greek gems have holes on the sides that allowed you to set them spinning and wearing carved side out or inside of the ring.Originally carved the gem was used as a portable seals that used for the application of the owner of the figure on wax or clay in the decree or document, instead of signatures. Later they become a fashion accessory to a greater extent than a utilitarian object, and started wearing them to signify their interests, relations, beliefs or convictions.The tradition originated in Ancient Mesopotamia about 5,000 years ago, where printing-stamps or cylinder stamps pressed into wet clay. Here they were in Greece the Minoan and Mycenaean periods, Persia and Egypt.Around the XVI century BC the Minoans began to make a small rectangular stamps printing. The tradition was lost and only resumed in the VI century BC in the form of small oval intaglios in the form of scarabs. During the V century the details of the carved gems have become sleeker, and in III century, along with the campaigns of Alexander the great allowed carved exotic stones to be distributed throughout Hellenistic Greece.The Romans adopted the fashion for intaglios and cameos, and even began to make colored glass for their production. The most famous example of this tradition — the Portland vase, kept in the British Museum, which inspired Josiah Wedgwood to create his famous monochrome stoneware.As subjects for carving were chosen mythological figures, animals or portraits, sometimes the owner’s signature. Larger intaglios and cameos were worn around the neck, not on your finger, and size, of course, made them more detailed. In the Middle ages antique gems prized by collectors of Royal blood, and often decorate their religious objects, for example, book covers or cups.After the Renaissance revived interest in classical antiquity gave rise to a new generation of collectors. In XVII–XVIII centuries great explorers set of carved gems in their homes as Souvenirs from travels. Thus, the fourth Duke of Marlborough George Spencer in the eighteenth century had a collection of 780 gems, many of which are now considered lost. Cameos were extremely popular in Victorian England, where it was called “sentimental” jewelry — as a portrait they often cut out the portraits of the dear and loved ones. From England cameos came to America during the Civil war, where it became a status accessory for the wealthy ladies.The trend in collecting and wearing antique and antique gems remained popular during all the past centuries, and as a result, many samples appeared on the market are framed in a modern frame. And these antique cameos and intaglios, in a sense, are a window into the ancient world, fashion and rituals, at the same time proving that the tradition of sentimental jewellery thousands of years old. Cameos and intaglios delightful decorative objects and jewelry. Due to the hardness of the material, they remain in good condition for many years, and a large number of them on the market means that they can be purchased starting with a few hundred rubles. And, Yes, after 5000 years, cameos are still relevant.By Ekaterina Ziborova
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