The famous Italian jeweler Fortunato Pio Castellani (1794-1865) was a Roman goldsmith in the first half of the nineteenth century who founded the famous Castellani jewelry firm and designed what has often been termed “revivalist” jewelry, pieces that took inspiration from the art and architecture of ancient civilizations. Instead of placing an emphasis on the intrinsic value of materials used in his pieces, Castellani focused on using unique metalworking techniques, employing those common to the ancient Etruscan and Roman civilizations – such as filigree work and granulation. In his pieces, Castellani also incorporated intaglios, cameos and mosaics of carved gemstones and bright enamel, creating stunning works of art treasured by royalty, artists and collectors. The Castellani firm was carried on by the Castellani family until 1930, when it closed, but continues to maintain its international reputation of excellence to this day. Owning a work by Castellani is the equivalent of owning a museum piece, as each item perfectly encapsulates the Victorian passion for archaeology and the fine decorative styles of ancient civilizations.
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