Firm of Castellani

Not on view

The Italian firm of Castellani was a family concern over three generations. It was founded by Fortunato Pio Castellani and continued by his sons and grandson. Their shop, first opened in 1814, was situated just steps from Rome’s Trevi Fountain and attracted connoisseurs and fashion-conscious tourists alike. The Castellani, who were strongly influenced by ongoing archaeological discoveries, developed a style they called “Italian archaeological jewelry,” creating designs that utilized granulation, engraved gems, enameling, and micromosaics. Indeed, they dominated in the production of historical revival styles of many earlier cultures, including Etruscan, ancient Roman, early Christian, Byzantine, and medieval. In the 1860s, Alessandro Castellani opened subsidiary shops in London and Paris and founded his own workshop in Naples.

It has been suggested that the Castellanis’ friend and collaborator Duke Michelangelo Caetani may well have introduced the popular millefiori motifs seen on this bracelet and on other related jewelry. The millefiori roundels, which range from about one-half to two inches in diameter, are composed of small, individually stamped blossoms of varying size, soldered together to form delicate convex bosses.

Bracelet, Firm of Castellani, Gold, Italian, Rome

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