Lava cameos are carved into a wide variety of subjects
similar to those found in shell cameos:
Classical scenes including Roman and Greek gods and goddesses. You can find famous historical figures
and political figures from the Victorian era.
A lady could also commission a lava cameo to be carved
in her own likeness if she wished.
The lava cameos are normally found mounted into
gold or silver to form the jewelery.
A Very Rare and Gorgeous Quality Antique Necklace with five Exquisite Carvings of Cherubs in Volcanic Lava, c. 1845.
Volcanic Lava Jewellery traditionally came from the lava of Vesuvius, which erupted in 79 A.D., destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum. This type of Jewellery became popular during the ‘Grand Tour’ days of the English Aristocracy in the 19th century.
These playful cherubs or Cupids represent winged heavenly beings, signifying the message of love.
Each Cherub has been wonderfully and meticulously hand-Carved in high relief, with great Skill. Each is a work of Sculptural Art.
The colours of the Lava are varied with a Rare Blue-Grey one in the centre.
A Magnificent and Very Rare Fine Quality Antique substantial High Carat Gold Cameo Bracelet with Deities in Volcanic Lava.
Each Deity is Hand-Carved with consummate skill, in the mid-Victorian period, c.1860.
This Beautiful Quality suite of portrait busts of classical deities represent the days of the week. From left to right:- Luna (Monday); Marte (Tuesday); Mercoli (Wednesday); Jove (the ruler of them all, and the centre of the Bracelet- Thursday); Venete (Friday); Saturn (Saturday) and Diana (Sunday).
Luna or Selene – the Goddess of the Moon, pale with a half-moon over her head, and, as a cousin of Diana, carrying a quiver of arrows.
Marte or Mars – the God of War, with helmet and armour.
Mercoli or Mercury – the Messenger of the Gods, with wings in his helmet.
Jove or Jupiter – The ruler of the Gods, in control of everything.
Venete or Venus – the Goddess of Love.
Saturn – the father of Jupiter.
Diana – the Goddess of Hunting and Protector of all wild animals. Goddess of the Moon also. She carries a quiver of arrows, too.
These Gods and Goddesses are Hand-Carved out of subtly different coloured Volcanic Lava, probably from Vesuvius, with great craftsmanship, and meticulous detail.
The trend for lava cameo jewellery began in the early Victorian era, ladies undertaking the Grand Tour of Italy would call in at Pompei and purchase a piece of Lava Cameo Jewelery as a souvenir of their visit.