Adiniana Jones and The Lost Secret Of The Cameos (Antique Action Adventure)

Adiniana Jones

and The Lost Secret Of The Cameos

(Antique Action Adventure)

French antique cameo necklace ca. 1840
Click the picture to get to this French antique cameo necklace.

Who thinks antique jewelry is boring couldn't be more wrong! It can be a thrill to find out the lost history behind jewelry. Sometimes it can take us days of studying to understand what it is we have in our hands. Of course the longer one does this, the quicker it goes. But still we can be surprised when a piece reveals us its history. For example the necklace with cameos we show here.

A French antique necklace with no less than 12 high quality engraved cameos. All the scenes refer to ancient Greek and Roman mythology. It was not uncommon to jewelers in the 19th Century (nor is it to jewelers in our days) to make mountings for already carved cameos. Normally these cameos came from Italy where the craftsmen had a rich source of inspiration in the old sculptures, reliefs, paintings and mosaics.

When visiting Rome during the Mid-Nineteenth Century, one of the things international sightseers considered a must-have Grand Tour souvenir were cameos with mythological scenes. A fashion that was ignited by Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Jos├ęphine de Beauharnais who were avid collectors of cameos. Their love for cameos was trendsetting for the fashionists of that era.

Surprisingly enough, most of the original works used as source of inspiration by the cameo engraver are not Italian. The creator of the original works, reliefs and statuetes, can be traced back to Danmark. To be more precise, the famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844).

But what is the link between Danmark and Italy one could wonder. Well, Thorvaldsen spent much of his career in Rome and his bas reliefs in a classical style were widely replicated. Among others, by the Italian cameo carving atelier Saulini. Tomasso Saulini (1793-1864) was a pupil of Thorvaldsen and Saulini copied many of Thorvaldsen bas-reliefs and sculptures in his cameo works. Also Luigi Saulini, son and partner of Tomasso, used Thorvaldsen work.

So it is probable that the cameos were purchased in Italy, by either a French tourist or a jeweller, to be mounted by a French jeweler as the Saulinis did not do goldsmithing. The reason why we think it must have been a French tourist or jeweler purchasing these cameos, is because the necklace carries a French hallmark that was in use since 1838.

Works of Saulini can be found in many important cameo collections around the world, like the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

When you visit the describing page of this necklace you'll see that we were able to trace back almost all of the original works used as inspiration for this necklace

Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team
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