About Vintage Cameos, Limoges, Cabochons & French Jet


Stockists of a large range of vintage beads, crystals and cameos which you can buy online or at the stitches and craft, quilt and craft and bead shows in Sydney.
No longer yesterdays news you can be part of a growing number of craft enthusiasts and jewellery designers who are revamping and up-recycling old jewellery and vintage beads, cameos, charms etc

Create unique pieces from our vintage treasures most of which are sourced globally in the basements of former manufacturers and designers in the bohemian forests of now Germany and the Czech Republic. It is a joy to find but also hear the stories of the last generation of master crafters in moulding, cutting and setting.

  • Usually a combination of sample ranges and over productions which have never been sold or used, which means it is unique and of limited supply
  • Products include beads, settings, cabochons, buttons and jewellery no longer made so it’s exclusive and will make your designs unlike any others
  • Materials include Czech glass & enamel, Swarovski© crystal, Lucite plastic from the 1920s -1980s which means amazing quality because of the high quality & craftsmanship;
  • And supplies are naturally limited, so be quick!

On first glance it is not always obvious how to use flatbacks cabochons, stones and cameos as they do not have holes.
Here are 3 ways to inspire you:
Set in a polymer clay or PMC
Stitch a peyote bezel around it
Gue it onto a frame, a filigree stamping etc to create earrings, a pendant or brooch


Cameo is a method of carving, or an item of jewellery or vessel made in this manner. There are two types. Either It features a raised (positive) relief image; contrast with intaglio, which has a negative image.

  • There are three main materials for Cameo carving;
  • Shells, Agate (called a Hardstone cameo), and glass which are generally vintage.
  • Cameos can also be produced by setting a carved relief, such as a portrait, onto a background of a contrasting colour. This is called an assembled cameo which is the most common and is usually made from moulded glass, lampwork glass or plastics. It is this style which we sell.
  • Lamp Glass Cabochons are made by hand over a glassworker’s burner. Initially, they were made to imitate natural precious stones.

They have a flat back, and do not have holes and are sold unset!
How to use Cameos?
•    Glue directly onto a rings base or brooch back,
•    Frame them & wear as a pendant, brooch or ring,
•    Incorporate them into an eclectic necklace. A great way to use odd beads & chain,
•    Use them with a seed bead stitched bezel,
•    Set them into polymer clay designs.
Enjoy playing.


From detailed images of courtship scenes to signs of the zodiac our range of limoges are Mmade in the former Western Germany, old Czecholslovakia and Austria. They are made of a plastic or glass base, with a decal image. There may be minor imperfections due to their age. Decal placement may vary.
These adorable cabochons are super sweet vintage finds!


A cabochon is a stone that is cut with a highly polished rounded or convex top with no faceting and a flat or slightly domed base. A cabochon may be cut in any shape, though oval is by far the most common. The term comes from the French caboche, meaning knob or small dome
Made from glass or plastic in an array of colours including imitating  semi precious stones.
Lamp work glass cabochons which are hand moulded have been produced in the Czech Republic since the 18th C in colour combinations imitating natural precious and semi precious stones


French Jet or crepe stone is black glass or black crystal. (not fossilized wood). Manufactured from the late 1800s in the former Czechoslovakia using hand cutting techniques these beads are flat on one side and cut on the other with 2 holes drilled through them. They are extremely versatile. Mount them on filigree stampings, sew them onto garments and string them to create unique bracelets and chokers.
Note: they have either the makers mark on the back or some have decorative etchings which makes them reversible. Like all glass, it will be colder to the touch and heavier than Whitby jet or vulcanite.

  • Glue directly onto a rings base or brooch back, use it in scrap booking & altered art
  • Frame them & wear as a pendant, brooch or ring,
  • Incorporate them into an eclectic necklace. A great way to use odd beads & chain,
  • Use them with a seed bead stitched bezel,
  • Set them into polymer clay, for example Fimo

SHOP ALL BEADS: click here

“I have had lots of fun creating a range of bead links and charms with unexpected colour and material combinations. Whether you are a beading pro or novice you will become hooked on these little gems!
The bead links and charms are interchangeable. They can be slipped onto an ear hook, threaded onto a chain, or linked onto a charm bracelet. The bead links and charms are categorised according to theme to make it even easier to mix and match. I hope this new inspirational range will give you much pleasure in wearing it as it has me creating it for everyday fast and fabulous adornment.”

Christine Smalley Creator + Designer
Build Your Own Jewellery Bead Links and Charms
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