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Revival styles in jewelry

One of the most prolific proponents of revival styles during the nineteenth century was the jewelry firm founded by

Fortunato Pio Castellani in Rome in 1814. During the firm's first few decades it made its reputation by producing jewelry that was in the style of that being made in France and England.

However, in the 1830s Castellani was introduced to antique jewelry by the learned aristocrat Michelangelo Caetani, a scholar, historian, amateur wood turner; and sculptor.

Caetani was proficient at drawing, and some of his extant sketches are designs for metalwork, particularly jewelry.

For much of the nineteenth century the Castellani dynasty--Fortunato, his sons Alessandro and Augusto, and his grandson Alfredo--operated one of the leading jewelry firms in Europe.

An exhibition that chronicles the rise and leadership role of the firm is on view at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture in New York City through February 6, 2005. The show is entitled The Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry and includes 282 pieces of jewelry, design drawings, ancient artifacts, and archival materials, all of which demonstrate the wide range of revival styles the firm and its European patrons embraced over the course of nearly one hundred years

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