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WEDGWOOD CAMEOS by Preston Reuther

The wonderful pale, blue color associated with Wedgwood cameos all started with a man and a dream. His name was Josiah Wedgwood. He was born in 1730 in England and was the son of a potter. At the age of 6, Josiah was an apprentice potter and at 30 years of age he owned his own business. In 1765 he created a complete set of pottery with his own personal brand of porcelain and glazes. He called himself "Potter to the Queen" The moniker stuck and Wedgwood would go down in history, not only for pottery, but for cameos of all shapes and sizes with a multitude of profiles, both famous and not so famous.

Wedgwood created his cameos in two parts from jasperware ceramics with profiles in the Neo-Classical style. These Wedgwood cameos were set in pinchbeck, gold, and even steel. The colors were powder blue, light pink, olive or light green, and black all during the nineteenth century. Wedgewood died in 1795 but left a legacy that few will ever accomplish. It is said that it took over 10,000 experiments to create his famous formula for jasperware that his cameos were made from.

Today, you can find many Wedgwood cameos set in settings of antique origin but many can be found loose and have yet to find a setting for a home. The investment potential for Wedgwood, as with all specialty jewelry with a great history, seems to grow each year. And every year there are less and less tiny works of Wedgwood art to be found. See the entire gallery of wedgwood cameos.

Preston Reuther is a jewelry designer and long time cameo collector and has been collecting, showing and selling Wedgwood  cameo jewelry for more then 20 years. He has written 12 e books on the jewelry design process, hundreds of videos and over 1000 articles on handcrafted jewelry.  He may be contacted in his St. Joe Studio at 1-816-689-2779


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