Brooch in the archaeological revival style
Possibly by Castellani (Italian, 1814-1930)
Object Place: Europe, Italy
Overall: 2.2 x 4.8 cm (7/8 x 1 7/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Gold and amber
Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery (Gallery 104)
Brooch, with oval amber cabachon, set in thin beaded gold rim, with an ornament at either end. Part of a demi-parure, with a necklace (02.91) and pair of earrings (02.93-02.94).
Buffum eventually donated his collection of 164 amber works to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1902. The objects were of the highest caliber and included reliquaries, chess sets, statuettes, jewelry caskets (see p. 86–87), and personal adornments. Among the jewels, the most significant is this suite in the archaeological revival style. Buffum was closely involved in its design, having based it on a multihued amber necklace worn by a young woman he met while vacationing in Sicily. He noted that the gems in the necklace ranged in color from “faint blue to deepest azure, from pale rose to intense, pigeon blood, ruby red.”1 By the time Buffum acquired the amber for this necklace, however, the availability of Sicilian specimens in a range of hues had greatly diminished.
Yvonne J. Markowitz, “Brooch in the Archaeological Revival Style” in Artful Adornments: Jewelry from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston by Yvonne J. Markowitz (Boston: MFA Publications, 2011), 84-85.
Made in Rome for William Arnold Buffum; 1902, bequest of William Arnold Buffum to the MFA. (Accession date: January 1, 1901)
Bequest of William Arnold Buffum