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Judith-on-Antiques, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 8321
Experience:  A noted expert, author, TV personality, appraiser and columnist. President, Association of Online Appraisers. Author of 3 books on collecting.
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I'm interested in finding out the approximate age and value

This answer was rated:

I'm interested in finding out the approximate age and value of several old cameos and necklaces left to me by my mother. Not for resale or insurance, just for knowledge. Would I go to a regular jeweler and ask? Thank you.
JA: I always love having an appraiser look at my stuff. Sometimes its turned out to be surprisingly valuable.
Customer: My cameos have C-clasps and have been in the family from my great grandmother but two of them aren't faces, they are outdoor scenes with a seated woman. Are these more or less common than profiles? Thank you
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Antiques Appraiser should know?
Customer: Two of the 4 pieces have a rolled gold frame with a pinkish cast, one of the pieces has a plain, gold border which is damaged somewhat, two have C-clasps, and all appear made of a light *****, ***** shell materal. One profile has very clear ivy leaves carved around the face.


My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help.

One of my professional specialties is antique and vintage cameos. If you will furnish pictures, front and back, of each one, I can value hem for you.

Please see our help page for help uploading images.


Go to

1. Click "Computer".

2. Double click the image you want to upload.

3. Click "Start Upload".

4. When the image appears on your screen, just copy the link from that page and paste it on this page.

If that doesn't work for you:

You can email the pictures to *****@******.***, and ask them to forward the pictures to me. You must tell them the pictures are for the Antiques category, and give them your user name and mine, which is Judith-on-Antiques. It is important for you to send the email from the address with which you registered at Just Answer. If you are sending them from a phone, you must put the original email address in the text.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I must take the pictures at home with my phone and then send them so I won't be able to do it for a a few hours. It might even be more than a day until I can get back to this computer. I'm not too adept at sending things on my cell phone. Hopefully, if I do it on Wed. morning, it will still be okay. I'll follow your instructions carefully. Thank you! Judi Anderson

Hi Judi (I spell my name that way too!),

There is no rush. Please take all the time you need. This question will remain open and waiting for you.

Hi Judi,

I have your photos, but there are some problems:

The photos are too dark for me to see any detail, and every item i both photos is sideways. Unfortunately, we don't have the ability to rotate images at this site. Can you try again, please?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
HI, Judith,
I've taken new pictures and have sent two different shots of the fronts of the cameos, one in sun and one inside, and a new shot of the backs of the cameos. I took them straight on so they shouldn't be rotated on their sides this time. I don't know what info you can furnish from this. I'm wondering about value but more about what era they're from, country of origin, are they framed in gold or something else, etc. I think the cameo on the gold chain looks glued on (maybe) but I know its very old because my great grandmother wore it and it has her initials engraved on the back.
Any information is welcome; I plan to give these to my nieces on Christmas. Thanks, Judi

Fear not, Judi! Once I see those clear pictures, you shall know all!

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello - I'm checking to see when I might receive an answer to my questions on cameos. Spike in customer service said there was now some kind of problem with my email address in spite of my including my email address of origin in the body of my emails as instructed with the photos in them. I hope all of them have been connected with Judith-on-Antiques in the Antiques category.
Thank you,
Judi Anderson

I haven't received any additional photos, Judi. This email of yours came directly to me and not to Support. Please write to them at***@******.*** and say "Attn: Spike" in the body of the email. I will write to them on my end as well.

Well, Judi, I gather you haven't heard from Support, and I haven't heard from them either. So if you are agreeable I'm just going to use the photos I already have.

I need you to tell me about the condition of your cameos. Any corrosion anywhere? Any hallmarks on any of the metal parts? Any cracks or discoloration on the shells? Anything broken or missing?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
HI, Judith: 1.Oval cameo with twisted gold border/ivy leaves by woman's head has a workable c-clasp pin on back and no visible damage or cracks. Also, no imprints on the gold as far as I can see. 2.Rectangular outdoor scene cameo with twisted gold border also has a plain gold border around the cameo itself and that is very uneven in spots, doesn't look like damage but uneven jeweler's work, no hallmarks on the metal; has a working C-clasp pin on back. 3. oval cameo with outdoor scene with woman has an uneven plain gold border around it with no pin on back but some black corrosion on each side where a pin back may have been attached before. There is a crack across the back which looks like a scratch more than a crack but it isn't visible from the front. No hallmarks on the metal.
Yes, I've heard from 3-4 different people in customer service and I've sent at least 6-8 emails with better pictures of the cameos, using the exact procedure as the first pictures I sent to you which are dark. They said I used a different email address which I didn't; I have one email and one computer. They don't seem to be reading my responses. Then I got a full page response with ways to send pictures that are technically way beyond anything I can do on my computer so I had to forego that. I'm sorry these images are all you have to go on but it's not for lack of trying. Any info I realize is based on these poor images. Thank you, ***** *****
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

So sorry, Judi, for all the difficulty. But, with the information you gave me and the pictures I have, I can figure it all out. Thanks for your patience!

I am using the original pictures you sent because the ones above are not in a form that I can open here.

So #1 is a right facing woman, a bacchante, a female follower of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. You can see the grape leaves in her hair. The earliest cameos frequently featured Roman and Greek gods. The setting is probably made of pinchbeck, an early form of gold plating, and the came was made in the last quarter of the 19th century. If this cameo is free of any corrosion or other damage, its current retail (replacement or insurance) value is approximately $150. If you were to sell it, you could expect to get the fair market (private sale or auction) value of approximately 40% of the retail amount, or $60.

The two cameos that depict women standing outside are known as Rebecca At The Well, which refers to the Od Testament story of how Rebecca became Isaac's wife, after giving a stranger and his camels water at her family's well. The were both made during the last decade of the 19th century. The rectangular one, if it is in excellent condition, has a retail value of approximately $160 and a fair market value of approximately $65.

The oval Rebecca cameo is damaged and missing the pin stem. Its current retail value is approximately $50 and the fair market value would be approximately $20.

The last cameo is a Victorian slide on a bookchain necklace. It is also set in pinchbeck and the figure is very small. It is most likely a generic woman figure, and was made circa 1870. If it and the chain are in excellent condition, its current retail value is approximately $200, and the fair market value is approximately $80.

I hope this answer has been helpful to you Judi. Again, my apologies for the delay.

If you have any further questions or problems concerning this answer, please let me know.

If you would like to work with me on further questions you might have, it would be a pleasure to work with you again. All you have to do is put my name (Judith) at the beginning of your question.

I need your positive rating! Could you very kindly rate my services (with the stars or "accept" button) as this is how I get paid by JustAnswer, at no extra cost to you. Please click the five stars above, and then click the green button. We can still continue to communicate here on this thread after you do.

Thank you so much!

Judith-on-Antiques and other Antiques Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Judith - I've just submitted the rating. Thank you so much for the information on my cameos! Were they normally made in the United States or do they all come from Europe?

I'm sorry, Judi - I should have told you - they were all made in Italy.

Thanks for your positive rating!

If you have additional items you want to know about, I'd be happy to help you with those. If you want me to answer your questions, all you need to do is use my name, Judith, as the first word of each question. Happy holidays!

Best regards,


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Judith, a final question about the Rebecca cameos. The oval one has the woman figure seated next to an obvious well. But the rectangular one has the woman figure standing or walking beside a building that appears to be a barn; there is no visible well. Is this still considered a Rebecca cameo even though the well isn't depicted? Thanks for your very interesting responses. Judi

Hi Judi,

The well was only part of Rebecca's story, because she gave water to Isaac's family. But, I've also seen this cameo described as "home scene" or "village scene".

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Judith, I don't know if this email chain is still active but this involves the cameos you looked at and provided information on. On the back of the oval "Rebekah at the Well" cameo with a damaged gold-plated frame, I discovered for the first time a name written in cursive, etched on the back! The last name was" Mouhe" and it looks like the first name initial was a J but I can't be sure. Does that have any significance? The name doesn't come up in any google searches and it definitely isn't an Italian name but the writing is pretty clear when I looked at it with a magnifying glass. Thanks for any thoughts on this. Judi Anderson

HI Judi,

Happy holidays! Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you - I've been away since December 10th.

The name on the back of your cameo is most likely a previous owner. The cameo was most likely a gift to J. Mouhe and the giver had her name inscribed on the back.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi, Judith, Happy New Year! Thank you for the additional information about the name on the back of the cameo. All the information you provided was so interesting and appreciated. I typed up a small note for each piece with any known family history about it as well as all the good information you provided. Each niece read hers aloud and they all were so appreciative of the jewelry AND the information - I think it made it a lot more meaningful to them. Thank you again.

Happy New Year to you, Judi!

So glad I could help!