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Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry, edited by Susan Weber Soros and Stefanie Walker


Susan Weber Soros and Stefanie Walker, editors

During the nineteenth century in Rome, three generations of the Castellani family created what they called “Italian archaeological jewelry,” which was inspired by the precious Etruscan, Roman, Greek, and Byzantine antiquities being excavated at the time. The Castellani jewelry consisted of finely wrought gold that was often combined with delicate and colorful mosaics, carved gemstones, or enamel. This magnificent book is the first to display and discuss the jewelry and the family behind it.

International scholars discuss the life and work of the Castellani, revealing the wide-ranging aspects of the family’s artistic and cultural activities. They describe the making and marketing of the jewelry, the survey collection of all periods of Italian jewelry on display in the Castellani’s palatial store, and the Castellani’s activities in the trade of antiquities, as they sponsored excavations, and restored, dealt, and exhibited antiques. They also recount the family’s involvement in the cultural and political life of their city and country.


Table of Contents

Susan Weber Soros and Stefanie Walker

Chapter 1. Rome During the Castellani Century
John A. Davis

Chapter 2. Founders, Family Members, and the Firm
Stefanie Walker

Chapter 3. Fortunato Pio Castellani: Founder of the Firm and Jeweler to the Roman Aristocracy
Stefano Aluffi Pentini

Chapter 4. Jewel and Cameos and Intaglios: The Castellani and Roman Gem Carvers
Lucia Pirzio Biroli Stefanelli

Chapter 5. The Workshop: Models, Tools, and Newly Discovered Designs
Maurizio Donati

Chapter 6. Micromosaics and Their Sources
Judy Rudoe

Chapter 7. Revivers of the Lost Art: Alessandro Castellani and the Quest for Classical Precision
Jack Ogden

Chapter 8. "A Perfect Imitation of the Ancient Work"- Ancient Jewelry and Castellani Adaptations
Elizabeth Simpson

Chapter 9. "Under the Great Canopies of Civilization": Castellani Jewelry and Metalwork at International Exhibitions
Susan Weber Soros

Chapter 10. Alessandro and Augusto Castellani: Collecting, Museum History, and the Antiquities Market
Antonella Magagnini

Chapter 11. The Augusto Castellani Collection at the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome
Anna Maria Moretti Sgubini

Chapter 12. Archaeological Jewelry in the Orbit of Castellani
Diana Scarisbrick

Chapter 13. Inscriptions on Castellani Jewels
Maria Grazia Branchetti

Checklist of the Exhibition
Compiled by Michelle Hargrave, Yasmin Elshafei, and Emma Wegner

Appendix: The Castellani Archive in Rome
Daniela Sinisi




Maria Grazia Branchetti
Former Professor of Art History, Liceo Classico Tacito, Rome

John A. Davis
Emiliana Pasca Noether Chair of Italian History, the University of Connecticut at Storrs, Connecticut

Maurizio Donato
Master Goldsmith

Antonella Magagnini
Curator of Ancient Art at the Capitoline Museums, Rome

Jack Ogden
Director or Osmiridium Ltd.

Stefano Aluffi Pentini
Travel Agent in Rome

Judy Rudoe
Curator in the Department of Medieval and Modern Eurpoe at the British Museum, London

Diana Scarisbrick
Jewelry Historian, London

Anna Maria Moretti Sgubini
Archaeological Superintendent for Southern Etruria, Rome

Elizabeth Simpson
Associate Professor for Ancient Art at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture

Daniela Sinisi
Archivist, Director of Public Programs, Exhibitions, and Publications at the Archivio di Stato, Rome

Susan Weber Soros
Founder and Director of the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture

Lucia Pirzio Biroli Stefanelli
Editor of the Bullettino dei musei comunali di Roma

Stefanie Walker
Special Exhibitions curatore at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture

5.20 LBS

Other Details


12 x 9.4 x 1.5 in.

Page count
428 pages, 500 illustrations

Publication date