Each designed as putti riding a dove, embellished with cannetille and gold beadwork, to large arching hoop fittings, circa 1870. 3.5cm high. Attributed to Giacinto Melillo, Not signed.
Note: As a young apprentice, Melillo began his career in the Castellani workshop in Naples before starting out on his own. Like many of the jewellers working in Italy in the 19th Century, Melillo was very inspired by the works of Ancient Greece and Rome. He created incredible homages to these ancient treasures in line with the Archaeological Revival that formed a significant inspiration in this period. The design of these earrings is directly taken from a pair of ancient earrings now in the MET Museum collection, photos of which are attached above. The earrings were part of a well known ancient gold jewellery collection donated to the museum by Christos Bastis.
Cf. WEBER SOROS, S. and WALKER, S., Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewellery, page 318, fig.12-2. for a similar pair of earrings exhibited in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Cf. FALES, M., Jewellery in America, 1600-1900, p.348, pl.229 and Christie's New York, (15 September 1983), lot 208