Friday, September 02, 2011

The most wonderful cameo ever

 One night while I was visiting my in-laws in New York last month, my mother-in-law said to me "You like cameos, right?" and she gave me this beautiful convertible brooch pendant. There are a few things that are very special about this piece of jewelry -- the most important is that it belonged to her mother, who sadly passed away when my husband Chris was very young. The other is that it's actually carved from shell, not molded from glass. The last is that unlike most cameos, it has a very raised, straight-on view of the woman's face instead of the usual slightly raised profile image. It's so unusual!
 (Don't mind the bit of red, I used a handy six-sided die to prop it up). Look how much the image is raised from the background. And how pretty it is!
 My mother-in-law had no idea how old it was or where her mother got it. I'm tempted to take it to an antique or jewelry store for an appraisal, not so much for the value (because the sentimental value is all that matters to me), but just to get an idea of its origins. The geek in me hates unanswered questions.
Oh, I forgot to mention the other cool part... the hanging loop is a tiny hinge that folds under to stay out of the way when it's worn as a brooch. How clever is that? The little flat part says "14K" and is the only mark I could find.

I probably won't work this into a piece of beaded jewelry, although I might make something to coordinate with it... maybe a choker, and I could wear the cameo on a chain below it or pinned on my blouse. In fact, with Autumn just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to go out shopping for an outfit that begs for a vintage cameo accent.

PS: Thank you Marlyn, for the cameo, for the wonderful man I married, and for everything you do for the both of us and all of your family. You're the best! <3


  1. This is exquisite, and even more special because of the family history. Treasure it! (I know you will ;)

  2. I will I will! And exquisite is a good word for it :) I was so floored when she gave it to me.

  3. That's absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Isn't it? I need a good excuse to wear it soon :) Doesn't really fit with most of my summer clothes, though.