Friday, April 11, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Naples Sun Pendant, 1830-1860

The Victoria & Albert Museum

The jewels made by the master artists of the south of Italy are vastly different from that of the north of the country. This pendant is an excellent example of the exuberance of Neapolitan jewelers who favored very fine yellow gold-work. The filigree, overlaid with shapes cut out of red sheet gold, and small plaques of enamel is designed as stylized rays of the sun.

Intended as a wedding gift, this pendant has gold marks which show that it was made in the south of Italy in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. It was purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum as part of the Castellani Collection of Italian Peasant Jewelry at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

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