Skip to content

We're on vacation from 12/22 — 1/4. Shipping will resume on 1/5.

from the archive
Grand Tour Lava Cameo Souvenir Ring

The Grand Tour was an essential undertaking for any English man of means beginning in the 1700's, but it wasn't until the early 1800's with the invention of steam-powered transportation that it became a pursuit open to anyone, including women. The tour typically began in Dover, England and though there was no specified order of countries to visit, most travelers went to France, Germany and Switzerland before the culmination of the trip in Italy. Throughout the tour one was supposed to acquire knowledge of language, politics, sport and art and become a generally more well-rounded aristocrat.

During the same period 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 - this particular ring is a souvenir of somebody's Grand Tour. Modeled in gold with, the ring features the seven lava cameos in varying colors.


  • Materials

    14k gold (tests), 7 lava cameos of varying color

  • Age

    c. 1860

  • Condition

    Very good - cameos are all in excellent condition; one spot of visible repair work on the inside of the shank

  • Size

    11.5, cannot be resized; 11.4mm width

Need more photos?

Send us an email to request photos of this piece on a model.





please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.

RelatedHistory Lesson

cameos:Wearable Miniature Sculptures

An ancient technique of carving into a stone, gem or shell to creates a three-dimensional sculpture.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Coral& the Grand Tour

Coral jewelry has been worn as an amulet of protection against ailments and danger since ancient Rome.