Lot 94
  • 94


40,000 - 60,000 USD
bidding is closed


Of Archaeological revival-style, the necklace set with 15 intaglios, the bracelet set with 11 intaglios, composed of various gemstones including emerald, amethyst, carnelian, sardonyx, quartz and lapis lazuli, engraved with images of various Greek and Roman gods, one engraved 'Hermes', mounted with intricate gold work, necklace gross weight approximately 29 dwts, bracelet approximately 56 dwts, lengths 15½ and 7½ inches; late 19th century to early 20th century. Bracelet with signed Giacinto Melillo box.

Catalogue Note

Archaeological discoveries during the 19th century at sites such as Pompeii and Herculaneum inspired imitations of gold ornaments from antiquity. The Roman jewelers Castellani sought to achieve the techniques of gold granulation and metalwork developed by the ancient Etruscans. The Castellani shop in Rome became the destination for Grand Tourists seeking mementos of the past. Giacinto Melillo (1845-1915) joined Alessandro Castellani at his workshop in Naples as a teenager with his apprenticeship only partially completed. By 1870 he was managing the workshop on his own and continued to make jewels in the ”Archaeological style.” similar to those in lots 94 and 95, often using ancient hardstone intaglios. He was awarded the Grand Prix and Legion d’Honneur at the Paris Exhibition in 1900. Usually unsigned, the jewelry of Giacinto Melillo is identified by signed wooden cases as offered here with the present lot. For an informative discussion see “Giacinto Melillo, A Pupil of the Castellani” by Geoffrey Munn, The Connoisseur, Sept. 20, 1977, pages 20-22.