Our fine collection of cameo brooches covers many eras including; Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods.
Many of our antique cameo brooches feature gemstones such as pearl and/or diamonds, these pieces are accompanied with an independent gemstone and diamond grading report card in addition to free insured global shipping.
In the unlikely event that you won't be delighted with your cameo brooch, AC Silver offer a 14 day return policy.
Andrew Campbell, using his 40 years' experience within the antique industry, handpicks all cameos for sale.
The word ‘cameo’ refers to a method of carving that can be used on brooches, necklaces, rings, and others types of jewellery. The most classic type of carved cameo brooch is that which depicts a face, usually in profile.
The face, or alternative subject of the cameo, is carved in relief and is often set against a coloured background, creating a contrast. Many different materials can be used to make cameo brooches including carnelian shell, mother of pearl, agate, seashells, sardonyx, and hardstone. Carved pearl cameos against a back hardstone background are particularly popular, and this monochrome style is easily paired with modern styles.
Here are some of the top ways to style cameo brooches...
If you’re wearing a blazer for a work event, attach your cameo brooch to the lapel to add an interesting statement piece to your look. Or, if you’re trying to pair your cameo brooch with a more casual outfit, pin it to the collar of your jacket. You could even pair it with a couple of smaller pins to create a curated asymmetric look.
Cameo brooches are extremely versatile and many of them can be easily repurposed into other jewellery types. For example, you can create a stunning statement necklace by attaching your cameo brooch to a string of pearls or use it in the place of a clasp. Alternatively, attaching a cameo brooch to a chunky yellow gold necklace can also create an eye-catching vintage-inspired look.
One way to do something a bit unusual with this jewellery style is to wear it as a hairpiece. Cameos work wonderfully as the central feature of an updo and can add some vintage charm to your hairstyle. This style works particularly well if the rest of your outfit is simple yet elegant and there aren’t too many jewellery pieces competing for attention. Just remember to take extra care when you’re attaching it to make sure that it’s securely in place.
Another classic placement for your cameo brooch is positioned neatly in the centre of your neckline, making a choker effect. This look is perfect for a neat and put-together style, perhaps even paired with a string of pearls if you want to go all out. This is the quintessential vintage chic way to wear a cameo brooch and will suit pretty much any occasion.
When you are trying to date a cameo there are some base components to consider. If is the pin is a plain c-clasp then there is a higher probability that the piece is antique with the original fastening; if there is a rolling safety catch the anterior face may be original, however, the pin has been replaced. When contemplating the design of the physical cameo, does the piece bear a resemblance to a certain style which may suggest the date, such as Art Nouveau. As for the features of the portrait of scene, should there be more detail the piece may be more modern as it could have been crafted with lasers, and with these pieces showing more pert anatomical features; the Victorian era used cameos as a form of portrait and would be displayed with straight noses and strong noses pre-1860s.
The value of the cameo can be subject to the date and also construction of the piece, as well as the condition. One way it is said to test if you have an original cameo is to use your sense of touch; the piece should be cool. If the piece is not cool to the touch there is a chance it is a synthetic replica, such as plastic. If the piece is held up to light and there are some chips or cracks, this can dimmish the value of the piece, however this does not mean the piece does not hold sentimental value, or if the scene is rare some collectors can overlook this factor.
There are design factors that can also affect the value of a cameo, it is said if the portrait is facing left or depicting a scene incorporating a human figure these are less common and therefore more desirable to collectors. Also due to the nature of their original use, if a cameo depicts an African American, these are also rare.