Lot 94
  • 94


40,000 - 60,000 USD
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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.


In very good condition given the ages of these pieces. The gold with minor surface abrasion commensurate with light wear. Mountings test as 18 karat gold. The intaglios are in good condition given their age, some carved on cabochons and some on table-cuts, with various levels of transparency. Bracelet clasp secure. Necklace clasp later added.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Illustrations in the catalogue may not be actual size. Prospective purchasers are reminded that, unless the catalogue description specifically states that a stone is natural, we have assumed that some form of treatment may have been used and that such treatment may not be permanent. Our presale estimates reflect this assumption.Certificates of Authenticity: Various manufacturers may not issue certificates of authenticity upon request. Sotheby's is not under an obligation to furnish the purchaser with a certificate of authenticity from the manufacturer at any time. Unless the requirements for a rescission of the sale under the Terms of Guarantee are satisfied, the failure of a manufacturer to issue a certificate will not constitute grounds to rescind the sale. Gemological Certificates and Reports: References in the catalogue descriptions to certificates or reports issued by gemological laboratories are provided only for the information of bidders, and Sotheby's does not guarantee and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, terms or information contained in such certificates or reports. Please also note that laboratories may differ in their assessment of a gemstone (including its origin and presence, type and extent of treatments) and their certificates or reports may contain different results.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

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.