Earring

Italian (Rome)
19th century
about 1860–70
Possibly by Castellani (Italian, 1814-1930)


Dimensions

Length x width: 6 x 2.2 cm (2 3/8 x 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

02.94

Medium or Technique

Amber, set in gold

Not On View

Collections

Europe, Jewelry

Classifications

Earrings, flares, plugs, studs

Part of a demi-parure, with a necklace (02.91), a brooch (02.92) and another earring (02.93).


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.

Provenance

Made in Rome for William Arnold Buffum; 1902, bequest of William Arnold Buffum to the MFA. (Accession date: January 1, 1901)

Credit Line

Bequest of William Arnold Buffum