Five-Layered Sardonyx Cameo, Roman Artwork, Second Quarter of the 1st Century AD.

A cameo is a glyptograph or bas-relief carving, (opposite of the technique used in intaglios), usually depicting a scene or portrait, for use in jewelry and decorative arts. When layered materials such as banded agate or shell are used, the foreground or lighter color usually depicts the scene and the background is created by exposing a deeper layer of another color. Not all cameos are multi-colored, they can be monochrome and are carved from nearly every gem material including agate, quartz and corundum and many natural materials such as coral, shell, horn and ivory. Cameos have been created since Biblical times and were particularly popular during the end of the 18th and the entirety of the 19th century.

See Also

Georgian and Victorian Cameos