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Cameo Appearance

Hand-carved Italian cameos tucked away in the heart of midtown.

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Napoleon was a huge fan of cameos. So is Sarah Jessica Parker. I never was. That is, until I met Amedeo Scognamiglio, who just opened a showroom selling them on 57th Street.

Raised in Torre del Greco, a town near Naples where his business is based, the 30-year-old Scognamiglio is the sixth generation of his family to hand-carve cameos (the day we met, he had a nasty gash from “fixing” an eyelash on a profile cameo). Traditional cameos are made from conch shells and are set into everything from brooches to lamps. These days, they’re also made from turquoise or coral.

Visit the bright, airy showroom, with its pale-lavender walls and minimal furniture, and you’ll find that his wares are more affordable than you might think: A one-inch oval ring is $250; paperweights range from $100 to $500; a bracelet made from linked cameos is $1,500. Of course, I fell for one of the priciest pieces—the gorgeous $5,500 “Leaves and Fruit” necklace with 100 carved pieces of coral. But with an inventory of 3,000 pieces, Scognamiglio certainly has something that’s more in my budget.
Amedeo Scognamiglio, 5 East 57th Street, seventh floor (212-765-8145).


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