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June 20, 2017
During the 19th century, people of means traversed Europe on the 'Grand Tour.' Many visited the ruins of Pompeii acquiring affordable souvenirs carved from lava. These tiny treasures were easy to pack and showed that the wearer was well traveled. Lava cameos vary in color to include olive green, cream, gray, black, and terra cotta. Generally carved in high relief, these miniature treasures were set into brooches, pendants, rings, and bracelets. Although not as popular as their shell counterparts, they are highly sought after by collectors for their unusual beauty and fine carving.
Victorian Lady Kim
Lava cameo pendant, high relief, 19th century
Lava cameo brooch, 19th century
Lava cameo bracelet, ebay listing
Finely carved lava cameo brooch and earrings, ebay listing