The Castellani Gold Collection at Villa Giulia’s Museum
Inaugurated in January 2015, the Castellani Gold Collection is showcased in the 16th-century Hall of the Arts and Sciences inside the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome.
The craftsmen in the famous Roman family of goldsmiths and antique dealers – who rose to fame in the 19th and early 20th centuries – were inspired by the jewelry brought back to light from Etruscan necropolises, Pompeii and Herculaneum in 18th- and 19th-century archaeological excavations.
Fortunato Pio Castellani, the dynasty’s founder, opened a workshop where he renewed that ancient tradition by adding micromosaics and semi-precious stones and amber details to his pieces. He quickly became a trusted goldsmith for kings and aristocratic families in Rome and all across Europe.
The collection includes band and “a bauletto” earrings,
leech-type and “figurative arch” fibulae and decorated signet rings, dating back to the period between the 7th and the 5th centuries BC.
On top of late Classical, Hellenistic, Etruscan, Magna Graecia and Roman pieces, the collection includes jewels from late antiquity and barbarian cultures, works by Italian goldsmiths from the 13th-19th centuries, a group of modern pieces from the Abruzzo Apennine area, and even objects made in the Far East and New World.