The word “cameo” is said to have been adapted from an ancient kabbalistic argot meaning “magical square” - Kame’o. In the original use, it was treated as an amulet, the carvings upon which were magically imbued as a kind of spell, enabling the stone or shell from whence they came to act as talismans. Although the earliest cameos were made from glass, they were quickly adapted into carvings from shells, which became more lively and colourful once conches from warmer climates became accessible. This pendant is of a female figure in profile, carved from shell.
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