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  • Place of origin:

    Abruzzi (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Yellow gold filigree with red gold facing

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Italian women have always loved lavish display. Even for the poorest, a rich show of jewellery was all important. Italian goldsmiths were expert at making a little material go a very long way. Many pieces seem too large to wear comfortably, but they are usually made of very thin gold, and are much lighter than they appear.

One of the most typical techniques in the south of Italy was the use of mixed colours of gold. The goldsmiths often used yellow gold filigree as a base, and attached flat shapes of red gold to its surface, as here. This technique was used for pendants and necklaces, as well as earrings, and is still in use today. This earring comes from the Abruzzi. Although the Abruzzi is in central Italy, it was formerly part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and the jewellery often has more in common with the south than with the rest of central and northern Italy.

It was bought as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

Physical description

Earring, consisting of an elaborate filigree design of yellow gold wire, faced with cut-out shapes of red gold sheet, forming a stylised spray of flowers. There is a long hinged wire at the back, with a reinforcing strut in the centre. The original pendant is missing.

Place of Origin

Abruzzi (made)


1800-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Yellow gold filigree with red gold facing


Length: 7.5 cm, Width: 3.7 cm, Depth: 2.0 cm

Descriptive line

Gold filigree earring, Abruzzi (Italy), 1800-1867.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 9






Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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