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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    about 1864-76 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Castellani (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 20, shelf D, box 3

The archaeological discoveries of the 19th century led to a greater awareness and understanding of ancient jewellery. For the first time these intricate gold pieces were collected, studied and published, and both the originals and the published illustrations of them were a rich new source for designers of jewellery. The resulting 'archaeological-style' jewellery was fashionable from around 1860 until at least the 1880s. The Italian firm of Castellani was at the forefront of this style. Castellani both made jewellery and owned an extensive collection of antiquities. These particular pendants are copies of Greek originals from around 330-300 BC that was excavated at Great Blinitza, in the Crimea in 1864, now at the Hermitage Museum.

Physical description

Pendant consisting of a large gold plaque decorated with the figure of Thetis riding a sea monster and carrying the armour of Achilles. hung with rosettes and bud-like drops; from the lower rim of the circular frame descends a fringe of loop-in-loop chain which forms a lattice hung with hollow vase-shaped pendants. The fringe terminates with six larger pendants. The applied plaque is marked with the Castellani monogram. The pendants perhaps from a diadem. Made after Greek originals of about 330-300 BC

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


about 1864-76 (made)


Castellani (makers)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Monogram of two 'C's
Addorsed Cs in appied wire (not any of the marks illustrated in Munn, 1984)


Height: 16.3 cm, Width: 7.3 cm, Depth: 1 cm

Object history note

These pendants, 632&A-1844 (or similar specimens) were shown by Castellani at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. The Museum acquired them from the sale of Alessandro Castellani's effects, Rome 1884.

Made after Greek originals of about 360 BC excavated at Kul Oba in South Russia in 1864 and acquired for the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

Castellani Jewellery Exhibition RF.2003/302

Descriptive line

Pair of pendants with a nereid on a seahors. Italy, 1864-76; made by Castellani. Gold, chased, with granulation and filigree




Chased; Granulation; Filigree

Subjects depicted

Classicism; Armour; Sea monsters; Antique


Jewellery; Myths & Legends


Metalwork Collection

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