Necklace, earrings, brooch, bracelet, comb - inv. 4642
The parure is part of the artworks realized in the shops in Torre del Greco that during the second half of the nineteenth century, realized the style called "Flowers and Fruits", which was used to assemble a structure of gold alloy, flower petals, berries and leaves to make the most massive and precious jeweles, according to the taste of the time that favoured flashy objects. Each element was worked separately and attached to a frame of gold. This would allow to utilize even the smallest pieces of coral. This style was inspired by the Exposition of 1851, which saw the triumph of the naturalistic style in French and English jewelery. The modular design of the bracelet is joined in the front, for a composition in which the flower unites with the leaves, small fruits and berries in analogy with the brooch that presents very similar elements. The processing griddled work also appears, etched with tiny orthogonal cuts, very much in use in Villanova in Abruzzo, but also carried out at Torre del Greco: we find this in the shells of acorns in the brooch and bracelet, and in the central part of the flower earrings. A decoration that is very similar to that of a demi parure of the Aucella collection. The large necklace is worked "smooth". These necklaces were often donated to the wet-nurses because it was believed that the bright and intense colour could monitor the good health of women and the quality of the milk. Another use of time was to insert the comb in the hair in order to embellish the hairstyle. The scales of the turtle were processed in hot molds, hand-finished and then polished. At Torre del Greco one often fnds the combination of the turtle with the mother-of-pearl and coral. This comb is very rare because of the decoration and assembly of flowers, buds, fruits and leaves that decorate it completely, and because of the rows of coral on the side that give movement to the object making it even more graceful. It is possible to compare it to the comb of the second half of the nineteenth century in coral and turtle, with engraved strawberries and leaves of the Iacobelli collection. Finally, the box that collects all the objects is also original.
Rosso Corallo, catalogo della mostra a cura di C. Ascione, Milano Castello Sforzesco, 5 febbraio- 9 marzo 1997 pp. 40, 45; Materiali preziosi dalla terra e dal mare, a cura di M.C. Di Natale, Palermo 2003, pp.328-9;