A cameo is a carving in relief usually on a background of contrasting color.  Agate, sardonyx and certain types of shell are especially suited for cameos because of their distinct bands of color. The Museum has a large collection of agate cameos carved in Idar-Oberstein, Germany in the 20th century. The large plates & bowls are carved from Brazilian agate and depict scenes from Greek mythology.

Cameo brooches of shell, agate and other stones range in age from the 19th to 20th centuries. Some depict famous portraits and religious figures. The shell cameos were carved in Torre del Greco, Italy.