- Museum number
Gold, enamel and micromosaic brooch with a central circular mosaic panel depicting the Lamb of God on a green ground with a gold halo against a diapered background of red, blue and grey. The dished border is ornamented in a type of cloisonne enamel with circles containing a lozenge with incurved sides which can also be read as a four-petal motif in green, on a pale blue ground, with small circles of red enamel in the centre of each lozenge and white enamel circles in each 'spandrel'. The enamel is contained in gold cells as in the cloisonne technique, but as the cells of the circles and lozenges are not filled up to the rim with enamel the cells form a relief pattern. The central panel is held in place at the back by a series of wire loops. Maker's mark.
- Production date
- 1860 (circa)
Diameter: 5.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 985:
The Early Christian and Byzantine mosaics of Rome provided the Castellani firm with numerous sources for their mosaic jewellery. The entry on Castellani in the 'Dizionario biografico degli Italiani', Rome, 1980, cites a number of these sources, including the church of San Clemente, where the twelfth-century apse mosaic of the Lamb of God seems to be very close, but a number of other Roman churches bear similar mosaics of the Lamb of God and the representation on the brooch is too stylised to permit a more accurate identification of the source. The border design, however, appears to be derived directly from a piece of jewellery that was in the collection of the Castellani family until it was purchased by the British Museum from Alessandro Castellani in 1865. The gold and enamel 'Castellani brooch' (Fig. 57, Plates p. 233, Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities (now Prehistory and Europe), 1865, 7-12. 1; D 6cm), and it has been known ever since, with its central portrait bust in cloisonne enamel, was found at Canosa in southern Italy and is thought to be Lombardic, seventh century AD.
Although the colours in the nineteenth-century piece are not exactly the same (the original design is in red, blue, green and yellow enamel), the small circles at the centre of the petals and at the edges are retained. This border motif was repeated by the Castellani firm, but with a different mosaic subject in the centre, in a brooch with a bird and a Chi-Rho monogram in the Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia. (Judy Rudoe)
See 'Knowledge, Money and Time: Anne Hull Grundy as a Collector of Victorian Jewellery' by Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe which appeared in Journal 24 (2000) of The Decorative Arts Society: Fig. 16.
See also C. Gere & J. Rudoe, 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World', London, British Museum, 2010, fig. 396 A&B, p. 410. Caption: ‘Periodo Medioevale: gold and enamel brooch with micromosaic of the Lamb of God, made in the Castellani workshops, Rome, Italian, about 1860–65.’ (Charlotte Gere)
- On display (G47/dc8)
- Exhibition history
2005 11 Nov-2006 26 Feb, Italy, Rome, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, The Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry
2004 17 Nov-2005 6 Feb, USA, New York, Bard Graduate Center, The Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- S J Phillips, 139 New Bond Street, London W1. Original invoice for £1,100 to Anne Hull Grundy dated 19.12.1974, described as 'Gold and enamel mosaic pendant of a lamb, by Castellani, c. 1830'.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.407 (masterlist number)