Antique Victorian Classic Etruscan Revival pendant. 18k yellow gold. Made in Rome, Italy, circa 1860 by Fortunato Pio or Alessandro Castellani. <P><P>
Measurements: Diameter of disk is 28.5mm (a little under 1 1/4 inches). The bale is quite substantial and gives a total length of 44mm (1 3/4inches). Weighs 13.6 grams. <P><P>
For full description, please see below.
Description: Fortunato Pio and his sons dedicated their lives and careers to reproducing the techniques and workmanship of the Ancient Etruscans and Classic goldsmiths. This pendant is the embodyment of that work. Concentric circles of filigree rope twists and braids with minute pierced rings surround a dome of tiny overlapping flowers - the thousands of flowers that gave millefiori its name. Lying in their midst is a tiny putto or cherub. A large bale with granulated orbs at its base is an integral part of the design and can accommodate a very large/thick chain. Minute rope-twist filigree work runs up the sides of the bale. Even the back of the pendant is beautifully made with a ropetwist border concentric to the openwork rings. <P><P>
This design is to be seen in the books on Castellani by Georffrey Munn (page 47 with snakes instead of the recumbant putto) and Susan Weber Soros and Stefani Walker show a brooch with a mirror image of our cherub - reversed so that his outstretched arm is on the right where the outstretched arm of our pendant is on the left.
Marks: Overlapping mirror-image C's on the back are the maker's mark of the Castellanis. No gold mark, but gold was acid tested to ensure metal purity. <P><P>
Condition: Negligible wear commensurate with age. The same tiny gap in the flowers (above the outstretched arm) is shown in the brooch example mentioned above so we believe it to be original to the design. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer. <P>
An identical jewel as a brooch was sold in the Sothebys auction of December 2206, New York, lot 29 for US$72 000.00 (estimate US$20-30000).
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