Antique Victorian Renaissance or Medieval Revival brooch. 18k yellow gold and cabochon sapphires. Made circa 1860 by Fortunato Pio or his son Alessandro Castellani in Rome, Italy. <P><P>
Measurements: Total length is approximately 1 5/8 inches (40mm). Weighs 16.0 grams. <P><P>
Please see below for full description.
Description :Exceptional example of the superb workmanship and design of Castellani. The brooch is round with an overlapping cross. The gold in filigree, granulated openwork. The sapphires are cabochon and collette set. There are a number of features to this brooch that made Castellani so famous and his jewelry so sought after: The design is a circle with overlapping cross. This combination seems to have been a favorate of Castellani and there are a number of variations of it to be seen in the books by Geoffrey Munn (see illustration 23) and Susan Weber Soros and Stefani Walker (page 249). The quality of the granulation and filigree wirework is exceptional and exceptionally executed. There are a number of types of filigree wirework including different sizes of simple rope twists and braiding. The openwork sections form tri-petal flowers, which are an integral part of the design, meeting the eye on a number of levels. Castellani was famous for his re-introduction of ancient gold working techniques, in particular of the Ancient Etruscans. This is also echoed in his use of lesser gems, cameos and enamel as can be seen in the cabochon sapphires of this brooch. This is a fabulous example of Renaissance or Medieval Revival jewelry as wearable today as it was over 150 years ago. <P><P>
Marks: The Castellani mirrored 'C's in relief on the back. There is some very fine engraving (almost imperceptible) on the back with letters and numbers that might have been inventory numbers of the maker/previous owner. These are very difficult to see. Gold is not marked, but was acid tested to ensure metal purity. <P><P>
Condition: Generally good. The support of the pin is original, but the pin itself appears to be a replacement. C-clasp is secure and sturdy. Sapphires are in fair shape with minor wear commensurate with age/use. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
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