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Home > Jewelry > Victorian jewelry

GIULIANO Etruscan Revival Diamond Cufflinks

Item ID:4745

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Item description:

Important Victorian era Etruscan Revival or Hellenistic / Byzantine Revival gold cufflinks pair attributed to the Carlo & Arthur Giuliano jewelry house and their exceptional craftsmanship. This breathtaking cuffs pair is made of extremely intense yellow colored gold (probably 18 or above karats), along with an unparalleled master jeweler’s work of the granulation technique, gold wirework twisted scrolls and filigree matching the work of the ancients. Each cufflink has a diameter of 12.7mm carrying a small old European brilliant cut diamond at its center. In between the gold scrolls and granulation, circling the centerpiece diamond section there is a nicely contrasting blood red guilloche enamel decoration in the form of a circle. The pair has a gross weight of 8.3 grams of gold and total estimated diamond weight for all 4 diamonds is 0.20-0.25 carats. There is a large number of hallmarks and maker’s marks both on each cuff’s back, as well as on their links. Clearly visible is a letter “A” as part of a maker’s mark – probably part of the “C & A G” mark of the Carlo & Arthur Giuliano company (see images). There is also a French owl assay mark, as well as some other marks – some clearer than the others, but the exceptional and unparalleled master work is solely typical for the Castellani and Giuliano jewels. Comes with an antique French leather and velvet fitted case. Extremely scarce antique jewelry / jewellery collector set and one of the rarest Victorian era pair of Giuliano Etruscan Revival diamond cufflinks and jewels. Similar Revivalist jewelry was also crafted by Eugene Fontenay. * GIULIANO & CASTELLANI : GIULIANO is an Italian goldsmith known for work in the tradition of Castellani. Carlo Giuliano’s ties to Castellani are highly disputed. Some jewelry historians claim that Giuliano apprenticed with the firm and that he accompanied Alessandro Castellini to London in 1862 with the intention of managing the latter’s firm at 13 Frith Street. Yet it is suggested that Giuliano and Alessandro Castellani met each other in London and that Giuliano’s store, which he opened in 1874, was an outlet for pieces produced in Naples at Alessandro’s workshop. Whatever the right story is, what is undisputed is that Giuliano produced exceptional neo-Renaissance and archaeological revival jewellery. The firm's work attracted the attention of a handsome clientele, including King Edward VII as well as Queen Victoria and Alexandra. Family tradition indeed has it that Queen Alexandra’s pearl chokers were entrusted to Giuliano for cleaning and restringing. When Carlo Giuliano died (1895), the business was handed down from father to sons, remaining open until 1914. CASTELLANI was an Italian jeweler initiating the archaeological revival movement in the mid-nineteenth century. Castellani’s founder, Fortunato Pio Castellani, opened up shop in Rome in 1814. In 1826, he met his lifelong friend and collaborator Michaelango Caetani at a lecture where Castellani was speaking about how to recreate the look of ancient gold. According to jewelry historians, Caetani gave Fortunato Pio the idea to imitate and seek inspiration from Ancient jewelers. Caetani was a Dante scholar, a historian, a talented woodworker, an artist familiar with jewelry manufacturing techniques. By the early 1830’s, Fortunato Pio had begun making archaeological style jewelry. In 1836, when the Etruscan Regolini-Glassi tombs were opened, papal authorities invited him to study the jewelry there. He was able to recreate the look and feel of these Ancient pieces using granulation and other old-style gold working techniques. Such techniques had been lost for centuries until the brothers reinvented and perfected them. The firm is also known for incorporating ancient, medieval, and modern intaglios and cameos, as well as Egyptian scarabs and micro-mosaics into their pieces. According to jewelry historians, the firm was the first to place micro-mosaics, often with Early Christian, Byzantine, and Egyptian designs, in archaeological style frames. In the 1860’s, Castellani vaulted into fame as popular fascination with archaeological finds grew. Exiled from Rome due to his political views in 1860, Alessandro (the older Castellani brother) busied himself with marketing the firm’s jewelry abroad. First setting up shop on the Champs Elysées in Paris, he lectured widely on Ancient jewelry and socialized with Parisian high society, even gaining a presence with Napoleon III, to whom he presented a collection of Castellani jewelry. Alessandro also organized the firm’s first displays at international exhibitions: Florence (1861) and London (1862). At the 1867 international exhibition in Paris, nearly all of the jewelers featured Archaeological-style jewels in their showcases. The firm’s success peaked in the 1870’s. In the1880’s, the Rome location was handed over to Augusto’s son, Alfredo. Until his death in 1914, Augusto busied himself with, among other things, attempting to document the progression of Italian goldsmith’s art from pre-historical times to the present. He suggested eight time periods: primitive, Tyrrhenian, Etruscan, Sicilian, Roman, medieval, Renaissance, and modern. Though his categories are not accepted as exhaustive today, it was one of the first modern attempts to divide the history of jewelry design into eras. In 1930, Castellani closed its doors when Alfredo, the last in the line of Castellani jewelers, died. * Source: Lang Antiques.


$5200.00 / €3714.29




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