Adornments : Cameo Bracelet

Cameo Bracelet


This piece belonged to the wife of the Revolutionary War hero and founder of Vermont, Ethan Allen. Based the dress of the women in the panel scenes, the bracelet was most likely made between 1780 and 1790. Between 1775 and 1800 jewelry such as this cameo became more popular in American fashion, while prior to this period women tended to wear real or artificial flowers as their primary adornment. Up through the eighteenth century, hardstones, such as the agate used in this cameo, were carved into the most popular and valuable cameos. However, shell cameos later gained popularity because the material is softer and easier to work with, while still retaining the two-tone appearance that made hardstone cameos desirable.