Roman bracelet with emeralds; found in Cologne, the Rhineland or other selected locations across Europe.
Filigree is the name given jewelry designs created from very fine metal wires soldered in intricate patterns. The wires could be plain or decoratively twisted. Historically, filigree was created by applying the wires to an underlying base. As the craft evolved, the base was abandoned and the result was a lighter, airier, lacy, openwork jewelry item. The latter style was especially popular during the nineteenth century. Read more.
Gold bracelet, Giacinto Melillo, 1870s
Designed as nine hinged plaques applied with filigree, granulation and bead work in the Etruscan style, length approximately 195mm, signed GM for Giacinto Melillo, fitted case stamped Giacinto Melillo.
Cf: Charlotte Gere, et al., The Art of the Jeweller, A Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift to the British Museum: Jewells, Engraved Gems and Goldsmiths Work, London, 1984, pgs. 149-151, plate 959 for illustrations of a similar design by Alessandro Castellani.
Cf: Geoffery C. Munn, Castellani and Giuliano, Revivalist Jewellers of the Nineteenth Century, London, 1984, pgs. 88 and 93 for references to these jewels.
Cf: David Bennett and Daniela Mascetti, Understanding Jewellery, Suffolk, 1994, pg. 238 for an illustration of a similar bracelet by Melillo.
Cf: Daniela Mascetti and Amanda Triossi, Earrings from Antiquity to the Present, London, 1999, pgs. 28-29 and 101, for illustrations of the Etruscan ‘baule’ earrings and their consequent 19th century counterparts.
Giacinto Melillo (1845-1915) became the director of the Castellani jewellery store in Naples in 1870, at the age of 25. While relatively young, Melillo’s natural ability surpassed his age. The bracelet design was used by both Alessandro Castellani and Giacinto Melillo who signed with their respective initials ACC and GM. It is believed that the original inspiration for these plaques came from the discovery of fragments of Etruscan ‘baule’ earrings, popular between 700-500 BC. The Melillo bracelets were heavier than the Castellani versions due to the addition of gold plaques, applied with a four-petal flower motif to the reverse.
Source link (Sotheby’s, Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, 13 May 2014, Geneva)