Antique Victorian carnelian brooch, Etruscan Revival-style in 18-carat gold


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Archaeological Revival jewellery deeply appeals to us. The bold strength of these ancient-looking jewels won admiration in the mid-Victorian period because of the great uncovering of the Greek, Roman and Etruscan civilisations – and their jewellery.

Castellani was the leading jeweller in this incredibly popular movement, which remained in vogue (though increasingly watered down) through the rest of the Victorian era.

This brooch from about 1880 is typical of the movement and is reminiscent of Castellani’s work. It’s set with two central carnelian intaglios, in the ancient Roman manner.

Close inspection shows a woman on the left and a man on the right, kneeling and facing each other with raised drinking vessels and staffs over one shoulder.

The condition is excellent, partly because it comes in a lovely antique box – possibly the same one that held it when it was made 140 years ago.

The brooch’s hinge has had a minor repair. This has not affected the soundness of the piece or the finish of the rest of it.


• Handmade in 18-carat yellow gold, unmarked
• Carved carnelian (otherwise known as cornelian)
• Sold with antique box
• Approximately 6.3cm long, 1.7cm wide
• Weight is 8 grams
• In excellent antique condition

I’d be very happy to send more information and images. Layaway available.

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