An antique gold and Roman coin brooch by Castellani c.1870s, the circular brooch set to the centre with a silver Denarius featuring the head of Trajan, Roman emperor from A.D. 98-117 surrounded by the legend IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM on one side and Victory seated on the reverse, the coin within a beautifully crafted gold frame featuring four rope twist borders and a wide ground decorated with fine gold twists and beading, all to a single pin brooch fitting on the reverse. The Castellani workshop was a mecca for visitors to Rome and no nineteenth century lady or gentleman visiting Italy would consider a tour of the city complete without a stop at Castellani’s to marvel at, and likely purchase, one of his hugely fashionable pieces of jewellery. They specialised in Archaeological Revival jewellery, not only the styles but the techniques as well and this brooch shows the granulation and twisted wirework so characteristic of these jewels.
Gold with Castellani maker’s mark
3.3cm/ 1.3″ diameter
Literature & Exhibitions
See ‘Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry’ edited by Soros and Walker p.244 for a similar brooch set with an ancient coin