Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mastery of Design: The Castellani Helios Brooch, c. 1860

This and all related images from The British Museum.

This gold brooch, from The British Museum's Hull-Grundy collection, comes from the Italian Castellani workshop and dates to between 1860 and 1870.  Castellani looked to then-recent archeological discoveries for inspiration and this brooch is an ideal representation of that passion for the past.

The jewel depicts Helios, a Roman sun god, with a mask cast in relief and enameled eyes.  Fine granulation in rows represent the god's hair and rays of light emanate from his head in the form of twisted gold wires. 

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