Estampe camée

antique  cameo  picture



BY HARTWIG JEAN- Meilleur Ouvrier de France  (M.O.F)

(M.O.F. > the highest honor in France for an artisan = AWARDED BEST ARTISAN OF FRANCE)

Some books or descriptions of the Art of sulphides  are available. In the global matter, they are copy of copy from copy issued articles, and in generality writing by non professionals authors. In this situation, a lot  of falses assertions are translated since years ago. This briefly description from a Sulphide maker / Artist  will help us to retrieve the historical reality. Since over 300 years ,the Hartwig family works in the glass art arround  europe.  see > presentation.html

One of the first cameo sulphide made by Sir Honoré de Saint-Amans

The first inlayed item in a glass is dated from an inventory in 1584 in Bohemia.A glas goblet with 3 little ivory's cube incased in the hollow base.Some items like honour medal,metal coins,appeared at the same time.All these items are manufactured with the two parts cutting technology: Two parts of glas are cutted and adjusted together,but one hollow space is preserved for the inlay. This technology  is a cold glass manufacturing process. At the end of the XVIII th century,the first ceramic cameos appeared : they are full inlayed in the hot glass mass without hollow space .This is a hot glass blower art and the top period of this Art is the middle of the XIX th century in France and England.Some ceramic artisans coming from the Royal Porcelain Manufactury of Sevres,near Paris,created and saled the ceramic cameos for the crystal's manufactories and studios in France :  Baccarat,Clichy, Mont-Cenis. In Belgium : Vonèche,Val Saint Lambert are the most representative factories, and finally in Bohemia and England. In many circumstance ,we find the same caméo,inlayed in differents items and coming from differents country . 


At the same time these glass factories worked for ceramic artists'studios.That's why we see several signed cameos or sulphides with different names during this period.The best representative names for the studios in France are : Desprez( father and son. ceramics) ; Cattaert ( ceramics ) ; Paris (jewellery artist ) ; but one pioneer of  this Art , the men that retrieved this wonderfull art was: Sir Honoré Boudon de Saint-Amans ( chemist,botanist, designer,researcher and ceramics maker )worked in association with the Sèvres Royal Porcelain Factory , the crystal factory of the french queen in Mont-Cenis, the Crystal Factory from  H.G Boileau in Boulogne near Paris,further in alternative with the Glasshouse in London (Aspley Pellatt).



                                      Sir Honnoré Boudons de Saint Amans    



                       BREVET B

             first side copy from the original patent "Process of Sulphides making" deposit at the 19 february 1818.


Born (9.5.1774) in Lamarque,near Agen in the south West of France,Sir Honnoré Boudons de Saint- Amans was author of : "la Cristallocéramie" ( a rare personnal note book writing arround 1805 .. 1812 today completly disapear....)  after some work and research years he deposed his patent "Process of Sulphides making" in the "Royal institut of art and industry" in Paris at the 19 February1818. and further at the 24 September 1818 for any extensions. The patent accompagned with a lot of inlayed cameos items ( 4 exactly).

So we can prouve that the in 1819 deposit Patent N° 4424 of Aspley Pellatt in London , a exactly copy from Saint-Amans's patent is. The same concerning the note book of the "Cristallocéramie" from Saint Amans, deposit at "Crystallo-ceramie" by Aspley Pellatt.    

In the troubling time arround the french revolution, Sir Honoré de Saint-Amans emigre in the kingdom of England,and married on place. Lot of french people go the same way . Son of a history professor, he was a recognized ceramist / chemist , and we will remember us that the basis of the  cameos are the ceramic art. The support is the glass art. Cameos sulphides are the results of the two works.


Some items from Boudon de Saint-Amans


                                                      bloc BSA                                                      BSA agen            

                           a 6 " higth test cameo from Boudon de Saint Amans  ca 1808.                                    Museum of Agen . (Near Lamar



             BSA  1                                      Palette BSA                         

                                                                  Diameter  11,5 cm plate cameo                                   Testing cameo  for inlayed colors  


Saint- Amand Wife was English citizen and Boudon de Saint Amans lived sometimes between the two kingdoms  France and England since ca 1804, and offered his ceramics cameos to the place  glass factories : That's why  we see in the same period,very nice cameos  from the british factories like Aspley Pellatt in London ,where Saint Amans lived and worked in intermittency. Further somes weights are signed  : Dhil and Guérard ( ceramics ), Martoret ( medal engraver) ; d'Artigues (ceramics) : futur manager in Vonèche (Belgium) and after in Baccarat (France)  , and finaly the extraordinary glass cutting workshop  " A l'Escalier de Cristal "  with its sublime cutted and bronze setting crystal items. And finaly together with a lot of recognized medal engravers.


All the best and beautiful french and british cameos from the XIX th century are made in crystal with over 35 % of lead. Absolutly non toxic, this crystal also have a very deep brigthness and a hight density. At last  this explanation : the name sulphide comes from a bad cameo inlay work.As a matter of fact a residual micro aircoat between the ceramic cameo and the crystal mass give to the cameo the same appearance to the silver sulphide. In this situation, the defect turn into a very rare decoration art,but only wenn the micro aircoat to cover the cameo completely.


 D'ARTIGUES. Manager of the Cristalleries from Vonêche (Belgium) and Baccarat.  Two items of the Vonêche factory.

In the 70's, a ceramic worker Dr .Lasserre and his associate, retrieve  the old  secret of the ceramics figurines and start cameos fabrication. This small society offer their ceramics at all crystal factories. The Franklin Mint Corporation, contacted in France, to start and market the name "Cristal d'Albret" (  NB : it's not a crystal factory : just a marketing logo ! )  lots of sulphides are edited under this name .  Dumping prices and the quickly  disappearance of the ceramics cameos factory from Lasserre & associate are the results.  The cameo art is a very higth tec department of the crystal art glass making. It is very rare to find a crystal factory or artisan arround the world that to control this art ! Today and since several decades : just Baccarat and Saint-Louis  continuous this nice and difficulty art. An other, but important point for collectors ;remenber just this : beautiful and rare cameo weights from the XIX th. century are made in lead crystal : never in common glass ! For proof,  in the scientific analysis on paperweights from all the greatest factories of this time (Vonèche, Baccarat, Saint-Louis, Mont-Cenis, Clichy....) we retrieve a lead percentage over 35 %. This is confirmed in  the fabrication archives of this crystal factories.   Full lead crystal with his deep brightness ist the must for this hi-tech glass art.

A 3,5 " size cameo paperweight created by Jean Hartwig

napoleon 1er

Today, Jean Hartwig continue this very hight-tec glass art. His inlayed cameo sulphides, 4 " size , are rare collectors items. Overtime, the Hartwig Jean paperweights are unique gems.

Rare,beautifull,and the must of masterworks.

ensemble camees

Edition  / Auction
Metal base