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Antique pink shell cherub earrings dating from the 1870’s

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Antique pink shell cherub earrings dating from the 1870’s

Cameos are one of the earliest forms of jewellery that goes as far back as 300BC. If carved out of agate, these are referred to as “hard-stone” cameos, or if from a shell, then simply a cameo. Often cameos are carved out of the helmet shell. This produces a cameo in orange and beige to white colouring. This cameo however has been hand carved from the conch shell. This produces a lovely pink and white layering. Today few cameos are carved by hand. More and more are being done by the ultrasonic method. This is where a carved original plate, agitates the shell resulting in the cameo form being produced. Another technique is when agate is ground up and approximately 5% of a bonding solution is added. This is then poured into a mould producing a cameo.


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