Revived in Britain in the late 19th century, Cameo technique was known to the Romans, and is seen the famous Portland Vase (5-25 AD). Cameo glass is produced by creating an object with several layers, usually incorporating an opaque glass on a coloured ground with a matt finish, and then removing the outer layer by hand or wheel carving or etching, to reveal the opaque glass underneath.
In Britain, the earliest Cameo glass works were engraved by hand, but towards the end of the 19th century when cameo glass increased in popularity, various mechanical processes were introduced. Cutting could be done on a wheel, but more often decoration was applied in acid-resistant materials and the surrounding area then removed by immersing in acid. Cameo glass on a commercial basis, using acid-etching, was introduced by Thomas Webb. These pieces were invariably stamped 'Webb's Gem Cameo' and many examples in the 1890s also bore the date of manufacture. Other companies producing cameo glass were Stevens & Williams of Stourbridge, and J. & J. Northwood.