Victorian Etruscan Revival Bracelet
Pio Castellani, a 19th century Italian jewelry designer became enamored with the ancient Etruscan art of goldsmithing. His attempts to replicate this lost technique greatly contributed to what we know as Etruscan revival style.
Extravagant in looks and materials, this fantastic Victorian era bracelet is in mint condition. Substantial in weight, high carat 18k yellow gold allows for the demonstration of fine craftsmanship. Standing as the cupola of a basilica, a high dome encrusted with cabochons of turquoise in a pavé setting immediately garners all the attention. Classically inspired embellishments of gold spheres ornament the central medallion as four raised merlons-like battlements each embrace a single turquoise cabochon at the cardinal points.
Superbly beaded borders evidence the fine detailing. Flanking the central dome are elevated appliqués of gold decorated with granulation and wirework accented with additional turquoise. Tiered layers of style characteristics emphasize the grand three-dimensional quality of the piece. For a somewhat similar example from 1863 please see page 454 from “Jewelry from 1789 – 1910” by Shirley Bury.
Measurements: 1-3/8 inches (3.4 cm) in diameter for front gold circle and rises 11/16 of an inch (1.8 cm) from wrist when worn. This antique bracelet has an inner circumference such that it can be worn by a wrist of about 7-1/4 inches or less and has an august weight of 49.2 grams (31.6 dwt).
Date: Circa 1860 – 1870 and is most likely English in origin.
Historical Notes: Predating the rise of the Roman Empire, the Etruscans had been celebrated for their gold artistry. Lost in the folds of time, it was not until the discoveries at Herculaneum and Pompeii in the early 1800s that we became acutely aware of their truly magnificent gold work.
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