Grand Tour Plaster Cameos from Museo Capitoline, Museo di Firenze and Villa Albani


Eleven 19th century Italian plaster cameos, mounted in a book form; a souvenir from a 19th century Grand Tour. The plasters are from the Museo Capitoline, Villa Albani, and Museo de Firenze.

Originally (likely) sold in a set of four, I have only this album. Fortunately, this album has the legend, titling each cameo.

About the Plaster Cameos -

“Beginning in the late sixteenth century, it became fashionable for young aristocrats to visit Paris, Venice, Florence, and above all Rome, as the culmination of their classical education. Thus was born the idea of the Grand Tour, a practice that introduced Englishmen, Germans, Scandinavians, and also Americans to the art and culture of France and Italy for the next 300 years. Travel was arduous and costly throughout the period, possible only for a privileged class—the same that produced gentleman scientists, authors, antiquaries, and patrons of the arts. From the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, many people widened their cultural horizons by going on what was known as a Grand Tour, where travelers would visit all the major European cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice, and Paris. Instead of photographs, they came away with visual aide-memoires, like plaster cameos, that helped to remind them of the glorious art work that they had seen abroad.“ – The Met, New York

About this Group -

A cameo of Raphael (Madonna della Seggiola) takes the most prominent place at the center. Each work is labelled on its bottom edge, referencing a line on the facing page. The works seem to have been stored in Rome, Albani and Florence.

The signs of wear this set bears should be a relief and testament to their age; these plaster cameos are being reproduced due to their attractive qualities and popularity.

Physical Attributes -

Book form measures approx. 32.5 x 22 x 2.5 cm. Book form with a leather spine (poorly repaired with old library tape, colored to match) and leather corners. Marbled paper covers the hardcover boards. The box edges are also marbled. The verso (left) of the interior has a mounted index. The right side has the mounted cameos, each wrapped in a gold-like frame with the index number written on the bottom edge in an old hand. The Madonna is about 3.5 cm tall. The smallest cameos are about 1.75 cm tall.

Condition -

See pictures. Front hinge (older) repair with tape painted to match. Chipping at top and bottom of spine. Edge, corner wear and board rubbing. Occasional loss of marbling paper. Inside, signs of wear. Flap at bottom of board that opens is missing the turn-in. Blue background seems like a later add.

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-3 business days

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns

Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

I don't accept exchanges or cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Privacy policy

We do not collect any private information. For billing, Etsy provides the service. We only receive notice that payment was made. The shipping address is provided to us by Etsy, based on what they buyer submitted during check-out. We do not store these addresses. That is the extent of the information that we receive during a transaction.

Legal imprint