Wade Saadi was our speaker on February 13 on “19th Century Cameo Advertising Covers.” He brought an impressive accumulation of over 100 very attractive illustrated cameo covers, whose condition reflected Wade’s fastidious taste.
Wade showed covers grouped according to the following subjects: merchants and manufacturers; ships, trains and stables; professional services; cigars, wine and liquor; schools; and nurseries and seed stores.
Cameo engraving flourished in the 1850s and 60s. As a matter of promotion as well as pride, many cameo makers signed their work “in the plate.” Within Wade’s categories, we saw signed examples of all the best known cameo-makers of the era: William Eaves of New York (the Michelangelo of cameo engravers, from whom more than 500 different cameo designs are known); the McClement brothers of Philadelphia, the second largest cameo-engraving operation; William Murphy of New York, who was also an envelope maker; and Thomas B. Calvert, who created cameos first in Philadelphia and later in Detroit. Wade showed us a dozen or more Detroit cameos, legacy of a fortunate purchase, and Calvert’s work appeared on several of them.