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Cameos are back in Fashion : an interview with Lydia Courteille, by The Jewellery Editor

J. Mazur   Cameos, cameo, fashion, jeweller, jewelry, jewellery, Jewellery Editor, Lydia Courteille, vintage

The Jewellery Editor made an article this week about about the Cameos, and the history come back in fashion. They interview a few jewellers who contribute to this cameos come back in fashion... And one of them is Lydia Courteille.


"Few jewels tell a story quite like a cameo. Three-dimensional sculptures, carved into stones in raised relief, these miniature artworks say so much about the era in which they were created and what was culturally important at the time.

Worn as a symbol of status by men and women since antiquity, the motifs that feature on antique cameos range from ancient mythological scenes to religious iconography, Renaissance art to official portraits. It wasn’t until the early 19th century, when Empress Joséphine was painted wearing a parure of cameo jewellery, that cameos entered the realm of fashion.

The trend for cameos worn as decorative pieces of jewellery quickly spread beyond France’s shores. They were made up and down the coast of Italy for the upper classes embarking on the Victorian tradition of the “Grand Tour” to take home as a souvenir. Queen Victoria, a prolific jewellery lover, is credited with keeping the trend alive in Britain throughout much of the 19th century.

Cameos fell out of fashion in the 20th century, but they are now being appreciated once again thanks to a handful of designers who are giving this classic jewel a new lease of life.


Lydia Courteille has been working with them since the 1980s and has made more than 50 jewels incorporating cameos bought in antiques shops or at auction. “They are a nod to the antiques dealer I was before I became a jeweller,” she explains. “It’s also a way to give family jewels a second life. I have worked with antique cameos inspired by the Roman period and many from the 17th century.”

In a previous life, Lydia’s Dressed Cameo ring, below, was a brooch featuring a lady in profile, carved in agate. Today, with a diadem in her hair, a pair of diamond earrings and a hint of a smile, she seems perfectly happy with her newly bejewelled status as the star of this statement cocktail ring."

> Read the full article on The Jewellery Editor. 

> Discover the Lydia Courteille's Vintage jewels.