Welcome to everyone! My name is Giovanna. I'm a cameo collector and an expert about antique ones. Since I was a little girl, alas many years ago, I have always been fascinated by history, my favourite subject. Ancient civilizations, especially Greek and Roman, have been the essence of our present culture, and have always had for me a particular appeal. Greek and Roman mythology, in its stories and legends and in its various artistic representations - especially in the pictorial and sculptural ones - has always captivated me. Another historical period that has aroused in me a very deep interest has been the Renaissance, especially the Italian Renaissance. Also, I have always had a passion for British history and culture, particularly the period from 1700 to the early 1900's, arousing in me an enormous interest. This strong passion has led me to improve my knowledge of the English language (I hope with good results) and even to read many books on British culture and history. I have learnt a lot even with the help of the internet. Furthermore, I continue to improve my knowledge by travelling in the United Kingdom and visiting museums and historical places where intense emotions can be lived again.
Having had contacts with many master carvers, having seen and touched their artworks with my own hand, and having had the luck to have a dearest uncle who was a skilled and appreciated cameo carver, has literally bloomed in me the great love for cameos. It is this love and passion for these small artwork miniatures and their collection that I fully satisfy at the same time all my passions. Only those like me who love these antique artworks, the fruit of skilled master carvers of the past, a skill now lost, can understand the unique emotions that I feel when I own or simply hold them in my hand. These small artworks represent true pieces of history, each with its own story and life, which intrigues me a lot. Studying the subject to determine what it represents encompasses long and difficult researches to find paintings or sculptures from the past which the cameo subject is from, the historical period it is from, and so on.
These artworks are almost impossible to find in their home country, Italy. Most of them are from the late 1700's to the early 1900's and were mainly carved by Italian carvers; although, some were carved in France and Germany. We can't find them in Italy because most of the cameos carved here in the period of the so called "Grand Tour", 1730 to the late 1800's, were bought by aristocratic or wealthy people from such countries as England, France, Germany, Russia and even United States of America who carried them to their own countries. Often cameos were bought un-mounted and then mounted abroad. I have searched for cameos during my frequent trips abroad, starting about 20 years ago, and done most times with my husband who has my same passion. Every time that I go to explore the antique markets or the smallest fairs in remote towns and search through the stalls of the dealers or of collectors, I feel a rush of adrenaline flowing in my blood. I'm a female version of Indiana Jones, knowing in that first instant, between a lot of ordinary pieces and perhaps unknown by the dealer, the appearance of rare artwork that breaks your heart (and your purse) and which gives a sense to the sacrifices made. It is with the constant, expensive and sometimes vain searches for unique pieces of real artwork, that I was able over a period of almost 20 years to build a large cameos collection.
Because of a very sad incident involving my extended family, strictly personal, I chose to give up most of the pieces of my personal collection. Many of these cameos were the fruit of inheritance from grandparents and great-grandparents, including mine and those of my husband. Many others were the fruits of years of searches made abroad with infinite passion and expenditure of large economic resources travelling in England, France, Germany, visiting the most famous markets and even the smallest ones very far from the great cities and commercial centers. Our holidays, really, have been spent to support this strong passion of mine. Fortunately, because of a peaceful family life, that passion is fully shared with my husband who enjoys his hobby for photography, taking wonderful pictures of cameos.
Thanks to my immense passion and with great sacrifices, remarkable application and. not the least, lots and lots of sleeping hours lost, I have been able, despite my limited knowledge of web design and graphics, to build on my own this website which of I'm very proud. This website has given me the chance to know and to communicate with people from all over the world and from different cultures, which I find so wonderful. Through the web sincere friendships were born, and with some I have had the great pleasure of spending unforgettable hours. Hundreds are the emails of website visitors who ask me for information or suggestions about their own cameos, and I always respond to them with great pleasure. I even respond to the numerous emails that I get from visitors offering their appreciation for the beauty of the cameos, for the pictures, for the bit of history I always add to the description of each cameo, and for the beauty of the website. I take this occasion to thank all the visitors to my website and hope there will be more and more everyday to enjoy always the artworks that I'll put on this website. Thanks to you all, Giovanna.
P. S. A very special thank to a wonderful friend who helped me correcting the numerous grammatical errors I made when I wrote this page. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!