When I decided to use my grandmother’s cameo as a prop for our first photo shoot, I realized I did not know much about the cameo except that it was a family heirloom. My mom gave it to me just before the shoot and its close proximity sparked my curiosity. After some research, I found that our cameo was made of shell. It was from the turn of the century when it was “fashionable” to set a precious stone into the portrait for additional gift giving value (or bling). I do not know for sure where it came from but most likely it was sculpted in Torre del Greco, a small coastal town just south of Naples, Italy, known for the craft. My grandmother’s friend Eleanor gave her the cameo as a gift. I smiled at the irony now that I knew its origins. My grandmother’s parents came to America from Naples.
My research also yielded an exceptional cameo source: Amedeo Scognamiglio, who currently heads his family firm in Torre Del Greco and Amedeo their retail store in NYC, breaths new life into the ancient art. See www.amedeoscognamiglio.com and www.cameos.com