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My Carnelian Cameo Stick Pin of Zeus
by: Yvonne

Good Morning Marga, Richard

Lovely to hear from you, thanks for the link Marga, about "hat pins" which are not the same as the "stick pins" which are actually Tie pins. These pins are not as long as hatpins.

Richard, as you know, the tie pin is a decorative pin inserted vertically into
a necktie or scarf. The ornamental top has been made in a variety of interesting ornamentation including gemstones, pearls, corals and cameo. The tie pin was made in the 18th century with zigzag grooving to prevent slipping.
Later stick pins of the 19th century usually have fewer twists along the stem compared to the earlier pins.. Some pins were made in pairs joined and by a chain and worn together.

A Jabot pin is similar to a tie pin worn on the jabot which is the ruffle worn by both men and women on the front of a dress, in the days of yore.

Richard, I have a stick pin in my collection which I cherish, the top is a small cameo of the head of father-god Zeus who was from Olympia. It is carved in carnelian and you do not need to be an expert in Greek iconography to recognize the image is that of the serious, dignified father-god looking to his right in classical profile.
The smooth bridge between forehead and the nose of Zeus on my cameo is a killer; at this very central place is a darker blood orange inclusion. The carver clearly understood the importance and popularity of this area of the profile in Ancient Greece and chose his material with great care. A similiar profile cameo of Zeus in carnelian resides in the Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. My cameo of Zeus is even around the same size as this one.

Great to hear of your interest in collecting these amazing antique pins, many of which are works of miniature art.

Best Regards
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre

Buying Cameo Tips can be found Here....

Where to find more about stickpins
by: MargaD

You can learn some more about stickpins on the link:

Additional thoughts on Collecting
by: Richard

I'm assuming, which might be the wrong thing to do, that most 20th century cameos were massed produced, but were 19th century cameos one of a kind with no two exactly the same? How were they carved? When purchasing a cameo, what details should a collector observe to determine if it is worth the asking price?

I've seen some cameos that appear to be worn...smoothed. How could this have happened? Should I pass on buying such cameos? I've also seen cameos with "tarnish" on them. How can they be cleaned or should I pass on purchasing them too?

Any information is welcome since I have no reference book that answers my questions.

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