Monday, July 11, 2011

Mastery of Design: The Castellani Etruscan Scarab Necklace, 500 B.C. to 1925 A.D.

Ancient Granulated Gold Beads and Etruscan
Carnelian Scarabs set in Gold.
Artifacts: 500 - 300 B.C.
Setting: 1920-1025
Castellani, Rome
This and all related images:
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This beautiful necklace is the result of over two thousand years of artistry. In the Nineteenth Century, jewelers began to experiment with resurrecting ancient jewelry styles which they based on then-recent archeological finds. The trend reached new heights of popularity in the early Twentieth Century.

The Italian jewelry firm, Castellani, was among the leaders in this movement. This necklace is an adaptation of archeological-style jewelry which is rooted both in Nineteenth Century ideals and ancient styles as well as incorporates actual Etruscan artifacts into the piece.

The jeweler based the design on earlier Nineteenth Century prototypes, chiefly, the Campana Collection necklace which is housed in the Louvre. This design features authentic Etruscan carnelian scarabs strung with truly ancient, granulated gold beads. Using these ancient elements to produce a necklace in a new, popular style was both a novelty and a way of rescuing broken and discarded artifacts.

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