Sunday, November 4

The beauty of historic intaglios and cameos in interior design and brought up to date by Starling Designs

Let's talk about Intaglios and Cameos
and how they are incorporated 
into our interior design.
Several years ago while travelling through Italy, 
I became enamored with cameos.  
I scooped up several size cameos and still wear them often. 
There is something romantic, old fashioned yet very current about this old world art form.    
What is a cameo?  
It is a raised carved engraving, and usually cut from one material.
nesting, new york city, nest by tamara, interior design, tabletop,
have been in vogue for many years.
With a long familial history of Italian cameo makers, 
Amateo makes beautiful designs sold here in NYC
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Check out my Cameo & Intaglio Pinterest Board for links
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antique intaglio seals on

However, when the artist carves down into the stone creating 
a hollowed out recessed image, the work is called intaglio.  
One can find intaglios and cameos carved out of almost any material, 
but most popular are stone, coral, shell and plaster.
photograph antique intaglio

(pronounced Intaylo)
have been crafted on jewelry and decorative art for centuries,
 and for many years framed and hung on walls in homes
Suzanne Kasler utilizes an interesting collection of intaglios
with a black stencil around each to illuminate them,
featured in Architectural Digest magazine
Intaglios have practical use since they were originally brushed with ink or wax and utilized as seals or stamps to mark documents.  today, Italy is the major manufacturer of cameos which began in the 14th century in Greece and Rome.  Many of the designs depict Greek and Roman Gods and scenes.  During Queen Victoria's reign in the 1800s popularity of cameos and intaglios increased when Louis Comfort Tiffany introduced the designs into the United States during the Art Nouveau period of the earl 1900s.  During World War II, other European countries began producing them including Germany, who utilized the talents of fine glass cutters from Czechoslovakian due to the large migrating of Czechs to Bavaria.  The French got in on the action as wellt
Many years ago while shopping for accessories for a client, I popped into Charlotte Moss' shop on Lexington Avenue (gone years now) where she always seemed to curate the most interesting objects for designers in her tiny, yet popular shop.  Charlotte had just returned from a trip overseas and she displayed a beautiful collection of intaglios framed in antique shadowbox frames.  I scooped these up for a client, 
who has been enamored with them ever since.
Savannah, Georgia home profiled with displayed intaglio collection
interior design, nesting, nest by tamara, tabletop, house and garden
At Highpoint Furniture Market a few weeks ago I came upon these intaglios
arranged with a modern approach. 
Many ancient engraved seals are quite valuable because they survived the destruction during barbaric times.  Intaglio seals show the artistic talents of the artisans, and many travelers brought these seals back home after world travel and prominently displayed them in aristocratic mansions in Europe over the centuries, adding to their popularity and intrigue.  While at the jDouglas showroom at Highpoint, I noted they represent company Starling Designs and introduced a variety of intaglio art encased in beautiful frames and hung in interesting groupings. 
The Starling Collection offer reproduction copies of many historic seals including Hermes, Zeus, Jupiter and Apollo. 

 Intaglios are one of those interesting art forms that hail from old world traditions, 
but can be seen in a variety of uses today. 
Stop back soon for more design goodness
Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara