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Decorative Arts

Cameos

Cameos

Cameos have been used historically as pieces of personal jewellery from signet rings, earrings, and insets on collars, to objets d'art for larger carvings. Cameos are made from gems, glass or shells that have been carved in relief. The earliest cameos were made in Greece as far back as the 3rd century BC, with the Farnese Tazza (cup) the oldest major Hellenistic piece still surviving.


Cameos have been popular at varying points throughout history such as in Ancient Rome, and the early Renaissance period. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the popularity of cameos were also inspired by Emperor Napoleon and Queen Victoria. Below is a selection of cameos from collections across in South-West Scotland.