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The most precious piece of royal wedding memorabilia? Amedeo creates the Sussex cameo to commemorate Harry and Meghan

HighLifeChannel May 24, 2018

Amedeo Scognamiglio’s family has been crafting cameos for six generations – over 200 years of traditional carving from their native Italy.

Since the early 1800s, they’ve been immortalising European royal profiles in various types of shell and stone, making use of multiple layers to carve out what look like three-dimensional portraits in two dimensions.

Having learnt the craft from his father at just 14 years of age, Amadeo decided to bring the antique art form into the 21st century by creating bespoke cameos which have been commissioned by the likes of film director Spike Lee, basketball superstar Magic Johnson, and popstar Rihanna.

But not all of his clients are famous. “Interestingly, the last year has seen more commissions for people’s puppies than portraits,” he laughs. “People want whatever they love to be immortalised in stone.” Also – there’s something pretty cool about a huge rottweiler’s face turned into a precious jewel.

But given his family’s craft’s history, Amedeo decided to create a very special piece for the newly minted  Duke and Duchess of Sussex – a double portrait of the newlywed couple carved from precious Sardonyx shell.

The Duchess appears in a tiara, necklace and earrings (it’s not like he got a sneak peek of her wedding jewellery ), the Duke behind her, fully bearde but unmistakably Harry.

Set in a frame of diamond-set silver feathers and gold, and hung from a long chain, he intended to gift the piece to Kensington Palace until he found out the rules regarding value (this baby isn’t worth less than £150).

Never mind though – the last royal portrait he made of Queen Elizabeth was snapped up by a wealthy client from South East Asia – who revels in sending photos of herself wearing it to the jeweller via Snapchat.

Two weeks’ work hasn’t gone entirely wasted then – but if I was him, I’d hold onto this piece for posterity. Imagine what it might fetch at auction in the decades to come….


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