A handmade jewel symbol of Made in Italy’s excellence. An ancient splendor that has been rediscovered all over the world

The ancient art cameo returns to the spotlight on the most famous international red carpets and conquers the most famous tourist destinations: from Hollywood starto the royal scenes, up to Italian celebrities, the cameo starts from the goldsmith tradition in Torre del Greco to reach out to the whole world and create the perfect combination of antique and modern.

A long story that starts from the ancient Romans, who sculpted the gems to represent war scenes, and which reaches the present with a precise thread: the skilled craftsmanship of the engravers who make a jewel entirely by hand based on a simple shell. This jewel enjoyed periods of splendor in the Renaissance, in the Elizabethan era and also in the Napoleonic period both in England (as also shown in the famous television series Bridgerton) and in France with the transalpine emperor who donated the famous diadem to his wife Giuseppina of cameos, now a Swedish crown jewel and worn by Princess Victoria at her royal wedding.

From Rihanna to Cate Blanchett, here the VIPs are crazy about the cameo

A charm that has arrived intact to today and has not left them indifferent star internationally: Singer Rihanna has actually created her own collection of cameos consisting of rings, earrings and pendants, reinterpreted the precious classic and rejected it with special attention to female spaciousness.

From the casual occasion, to aperitifs on the beach to gala evenings: Celebrities wearing cameos alternate on the red carpets. From the young Demi Lovato to Cate Blanchett (who wore the jewels produced by Cameo Italiano to Liz Swig’s Lizworks project on the red carpet of Venice), Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Demi Moore, Gigi Hadid, Claudia Gerini and Caterina Balivo: these are just some of the star fascinated by handmade creations wearing earrings, bracelets and pendants on special occasions. A trend that, as is often the case, has already infected even those in a short time socialwhere the hashtag #cameojewelry is the main character in almost 30,000 posts, dedicated to the excellence of Made in Italy jewelry and also to fashion influencer from 5 million followers, Alexa Chung immortalized herself with one cameo on a pendant.

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Just Rihanna has shown herself several times in public and presented cameos in combination with a youthful look, wearing a cameo like a brooch on the cuff of his jeans and on his knit hat. “We’ve done a long process of research to do cameo and we were pioneers in the design of this “prêt-à-porter” jewel, thus clearing it of the concept that it was only for queens and ladies – says Gino Di Luca, founder of Cameo Italiano, a leading company specializing in the creation of cameos – We have created collections permanent, but we also have lines in constant renewal, where we offer a more modern and young style, where cameo it can be used as an accessory in everyday clothes, even with a simple t-shirt and jeans “.

A little history

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A jewel that is able to trace centuries of history and reach today, and still provide a vintage, romantic and feminine atmosphere: “There are certainly several factors that contribute to the rediscovery of this jewel – explains Bianca Cappello, historian and critic of the jewel and professor of history of applied art at the IED in Milan – Today it is fitting to carry a cameo into the modern aesthetics of mix-and-match, where the combination of elements from different styles and different eras reveals “as the cameo has an ancient material and technical history, those who decide to wear it today demonstrate that they have made a conscious choice linked to the craftsmanship and cultural roots of a territory.”

Each jewel represents a new work of art: dig one cameo it is a meticulous work that requires great attention and high manual skills, skills zealously guarded by Torre del Greco’s engravers. “In a world of mass-produced, new cameos offer an innovative and seductive twist on a classic art form. Rooted in art history cameo it is certainly placed in the contemporary artistic canon, where generations of artists continue to explore and expand its rich narrative potential. Even today, no jewel releases art, history, beauty and power as cameo“, says Cristina Del Mare, ethnologist and applied art researcher in the Multum publication in Parvo, where the story of cameo.

Italian excellence

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A jewel that symbolizes the Italian craft tradition and the exceptional dexterity of the engravers in Torre del Greco, a city in Campania, where the art of working with cameo on shell in 1800.

During that period, the ships returning to the Gulf of Naples from the African shores loaded large quantities of grenades as ballast to weigh down the boats and make the return crossing easier. With all that raw material in port, it did not take long for the locals to understand how they could improve it: Right from the moment the art of engraving shells developed and the long tradition of the engravers of Torre del Greco.

Today we are talking about a company with about 300 companies, which employs about 2000 people. “Cameo Italiano continues to be the reference brand for this market niche, and we are witnessing a strong international demand for our creations, especially in the East in the booming Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets: a clear sign of the growing appreciation of this jewel worldwide. world – explains Di Luca – We can find two interpretations of this success: on the one hand, the great dexterity required to engrave these handmade creations, while people on the other hand rediscover the classicism of these jewels in a modern and contemporary way “.

A constant search for innovation and design performed while remaining in the classicism of the jewel and in handcrafted technique. “The beauty and expressive power of a cameo engraved with a woman’s profile or body does not depend on the subject, but on the artistic and craft quality of the hand that made it – concludes expert Bianca Cappello – Who decides to wear a cameo reunited in a modern key, in dimensions never seen before or with new trendy items or made to measure or witty, it turns out to have a strong, curious character and to love the opportunity to surprise others with a new and personal “Inserting a new image into a cameo with an old flavor creates a destabilization based on the playful effect of a false historical artifact, thus stimulating the effect of surprise and fun.”

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