AO 8:04, Jul/Aug 2005
Past Perfect: New Etruscan Jewelry
A 19th-century Italian family of goldsmiths took inspiration from the ancient world.
When a mid-seventh-century B.C. Etruscan tomb was unearthed near Cervetari, Italy, in 1836, word spread about the exquisite silver-gilt vessels and gold jewelry recovered there. A young Roman goldsmith named Fortunato Pio Castellani (1794–1865), backed by the Duke Michelangelo Caetani, was inspired to create a fashionable new line of jewelry closely modeled after these ancient Etruscan prototypes. Together with his sons, Alessandro and Augusto, Fortunato …