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from the archive
Grand TourLava Cameo Bracelet

During the 18th and 19th centuries the cameo (made from a variety of materials including shell, coral, onyx and lava) was experiencing great popularity and many of the most expert makers came from Italy. Lava from Mt. Vesuvius provided Italian cameo carvers a plentiful medium to create these miniature reliefs. These lava cameos were favorite souvenirs of ladies who traveled to Italy - this status symbol proved that they had been on the Grand Tour.

This 9k gold lava cameo bracelet is a souvenir from somebody's Grand Tour and dates to about 1860. The bracelet features a concealed clasp and safety chain. Each panel depicts the bust of a classical woman in profile.





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