• Icons

    Icons

Paola Venturelli

Italy, legend and icon. This is the title that I have given to the section I have organized for Vicenza's Jewellery Museum - an exquisitely Italian jewellery section of items I have selected from the late 1400s to 1932. I chose them with a particular tone, and the tone is that of materials and working techniques. Italy has undoubtedly excelled at working some materials and the jewellery displayed in the section is the proof. And so I would naturally say that we must begin with a selection of cameos.

Paola Venturelli
Paola Venturelli

Italy, legend and icon. This is the title that I have given to the section I have organized for Vicenza's Jewellery Museum - an exquisitely Italian jewellery section of items I have selected from the late 1400s to 1932. I chose them with a particular tone, and the tone is that of materials and working techniques. Italy has undoubtedly excelled at working some materials and the jewellery displayed in the section is the proof. And so I would naturally say that we must begin with a selection of cameos.

Icons are narrative pieces of jewellery, items able to tell exceptional stories through their technical and historical details. Paola Venturelli’s selection is dedicated to Italy: these are Italian jewellery items that have innovated language, shape, meaning, materials and techniques, such as cameo, coral, micro Roman mosaics and gold leaf. Masterpieces from the past to rediscover and understand the present and design the future.

 

Brooch, Rome

Paolo Neri
Brooch, Rome, Milan (setting); third quarter 19th century (cameo), c. 1925 (setting)
cameo in chalcedony/onyx, gold, diamonds
7 x 5 cm
Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo da Vinci, Milan

Recently analysed (Venturelli 2016), the cameo shows the vigorous profile of a bearded Greek divinity, iconographically inspired by late Hellenistic carvings. The later frame, made more precious with the setting
of nine diamonds, was undertaken by a Milanese workshop.

Papal regalia/insignia

Castellani and Tommaso Saulini
Papal regalia/insignia, Rome, 1883
camero of shell, gold, filigree gold
9.5 x 5 cm
Gioielleria Pennisi collection, Milan

This unpublished cameo depicts Leo XIII(1810-1903), Pope from 1878, in the fifth yearof his papacy, as indicated by the inscription on the gold frame (PON MAX A. V), and is signed on the rear by the two intersecting ‘C’s of the Castellani. It was perhaps made by Tommaso Saulini jr, the papal engraver (post November 1887) of gems and cameos.

Rigid bracelet, Rome

Gioielleria Cesare and Enrico Tombini
Rigid bracelet, Rome, c. 1870
micro-mosaic, gold, filigree gold
ø 2.8 x 6.4 cm

Gioielleria Pennisi collection, Milan
In archaeological style, it was made by the prestigious Roman jeweller ‘Cesare ed Enrico Tombini’ (Venturelli 2016). On one of the two parts, it bears the text ‘Roma’ in letters interspersed with golden beetles, and on the other a number of putti, inspired by the mural paintings of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

Necklace, Torre del Greco

Giuseppe Ascione
Necklace, Torre del Greco, last quarter
19th century
gold, enamel, coral
43 x 2.5 cm
Ascione collection, Torre del Greco

Inspired by archaeological finds, the unpublished necklace decorated with vine leaves alternating with bunches of grapes in enamel is inspired by the example with vines in blown glass (Rome, Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia) made by the Castellani (c. 1870-80). It is completed with an oval medallion of coral with the bust of a divinity, perhaps Flora,
within a golden frame.

Amulet Earrings

Naples, mid 19th century
gold, enamelled gold, coral, semiprecious
stones, turquoise
7 x 1.8 cm
Gioielleria Pennisi collection, Milan

Unpublished earrings of an amulet type. The apotropaic value of the coral has been combined with symbols to ward off negative influences and attract good luck: a hand doing the ‘sign of the horns’, charms in the form of horns and the outline of a pig, the muzzle of a horse.

Icons Room 2015 - 2016

Ia Edition 2015 - 2016

Press Review



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