Giacinto Melillo

Giacinto Melillo

"Archaeological Style"

Greatly influenced by Ancient Art Giacinto Melillo was a Neapolitan jeweller, trained in the workshop of Alessandro Castellani.  We are delighted to offer superb examples of Giacinto's work in our forthcoming auction of Select Jewellery & Watches.

Giacinto Melillo was a Neapolitan jeweller, trained in the workshop of Alessandro Castellani. He studied Ancient Art history, especially Etruscan, Roman, Greek and Byzantine art which greatly influenced him and his work.


Giacinto MelilloLot 96 | An Archeological Revival carnelian and enamel bracelet, by Giacinto Melillo, circa 1880 | Centrally-set with a carnelian intaglio, within a finely worked double-knot surround, decorated with enamel motifs and flowerheads, between shoulders accented with vari-coloured enamel, to a fine mesh-link bracelet and enamelled clasp, maker's mark GM, wooden maker's case | Length: 18.0cm | £10,000 - £15,000 + fees


View Lot 96 ⇒


Melillo took over the management of the Castellani workshop in Naples in 1870, when Alessandro Castellani returned to Rome, from which city he had been exiled since 1858. After he had travelled to London and Paris in 1861 and 1862, Alessandro had settled in Naples and founded a school of goldsmiths which, by 1865, was being run by Melillo and it is assumed that the Naples workshop of Alessandro Castellani was established at around the same time. Melillo was clearly a pupil of outstanding ability, directing a goldsmiths' school when he was only nineteen and running a workshop at twenty-four, by which time he was also exhibiting under his own name, at the Workmen's International Exhibition in London in 1870, where he won a silver medal. Melillo took part in fifteen international exhibitions between 1870 and 1900, receiving gold medals at five of them, including Paris in 1878 and 1889. Apart from his jewellery in the 'archaeological style', Melillo also produced silver copies of Roman treasures and exquisite coral jewellery. Melillo's jewels sometimes bear his initials but are more often than not unsigned.


Giacinto Melillo lot 97Lot 97 | An Italian late 19th century gem-set pendant/brooch and chain | The cushion-shaped citrine in an ornate collet mount with ropetwist detailing, flanked by two mermaids, holding an old brilliant-cut diamond, and suspending three pearl drops, to a palmier-link chain, pearls untested, with a wooden necklace case by Giacinto Melillo | Lengths: pendant 4.2cm, chain 38.0cm | £4,000 - £6,000 + fees


View Lot 97 ⇒


A fine example is Lot 97, an Italian late 19th century gem-set pendant. The mermaid Parthenope is one of the most beautiful and historically significant symbols of Naples. Parthenope was one of the sirens in Greek mythology and, according to legend, attempted to entice Odysseus. Having failed in her attempt, Parthenope threw herself into the sea and washed ashore on the island of Megaride. The mermaid’s body was then claimed to have dissolved and formed the shape of Naples.

We are delighted to offer three superb examples of Giacinto's work in our forthcoming auction of Select Jewellery & Watches taking place live online on Thursday, 22nd October.



Auction Information


Thursday, 22nd October at 2pm
Live Online


View the auction catalogue ⇒


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