Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Carlo Giuliano Mother-of-Pearl Brooch, 1865

Brooch of Mother-of-Pearl and Gold
Carlo Giuliano, 1865
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Inspired by the shape of an ancient Greek leather shield, this brooch of gold and mother-of-pearl is decorated with twisted gold wires, with grains of gold, and with two cast lion masks and three cast heads of lionesses.

This piece, dating to 1865, is the work of Carlo Giuliano (1826-1895) who trained in the celebrated Castellani workshops in Rome before he accompanied Alessandro Castellani to London, in 1860.

In London, Giuliano established his own manufactory at 13 Frith Street in Soho. His work soon caught the attention of important patrons, and it was, notably, much-admired by the Pre-Raphaelite painters and their circle. Upon his death, Giuliano bequeathed his collection of jewelry to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A). Sadly, most of the best pieces of the collection were stolen in 1899 and never recovered. Giuliano’s sons Carlo Joseph and Arthur made a further gift in 1900, which included this brooch.

No comments: