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HOME : Jewelry and Seals : Cameo Jewelry : Classical Revival Lapis Lazuli Cameo of a Couple
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Classical Revival Lapis Lazuli Cameo of a Couple - FJ.6544
Origin: Europe
Circa: 18 th Century AD

Collection: Lapis Cameo
Medium: Lapis Lazuli

Location: United States
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The brilliant bold blues in paintings from the Renaissance are thanks to the natural hue of lapis lazuli, the blue rock loved by the ancients, from Mesopotamia, to Egypt, to Persia, to Greece and Rome. Traditionally one of the most rare and treasured of all gemstones, lapis lazuli was the prize of kings and is where the term “royal blue” derives. The ancient city of Ur had a thriving trade in lapis as early as the fourth millennium B.C. The name is international, from the Latin, lapis, which means stone, and from the Arabic, azul, which means blue.

Cutting in cameo is an ancient craft, with its origins deep in history. Each cameo is a work of miniature sculptural art, cherished by collectors since the fourth century B.C. Their original purpose is lost in the mists of time, however their roots extends back over 17,000 years ago to the earliest stone engraving on rocks called petroglyphs. With the discovery of Pompeii in the middle of the 18th century, interest in cameos were renewed, eventually growing into a trend popularized by the stunning collections of Queen Elizabeth and Catherine the Great. By the Victorian era, no proper refined woman was without her cameo brooch.

With the discoveries of archaeological sites in Egypt and Italy, interest in the Classics was renewed during the 18th and 19th centuries, a period known as the Classical Revival. This interest swept through Europe and over the years, ancient art forms were brought back and the forgotten skills were slowly relearned. This cameo is a testament to the era’s fascination with the past. The portrait of a young royal couple decorates this precious gemstone. This cameo almost assuredly imitates the portraiture of ancient coinage minted in Egypt under Greek rule.
- (FJ.6544)


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