Saturday, April 17, 2010

ART STYLE: Archaeological (pseudo-etruscan, assyrian (1850-1880)button

Archaeologically-styled decorative-arts products were made to copy the look of Etruscan and Hellenic jewelry from the 7th to 3rd centuries B.C. Sun signs, animal heads, wreathes, and broad, flat leaves were among the usual motifs.
In ancient times, the goldsmiths of Etruria (now western Tuscany, Italy) were greatly admired for their technical mastery and artistry in gold-work, especially the technique known as granulation--the affixing of decorative trim made up of tiny gold beads to a gold surface.
The archaeological digs of the early nineteenth century yielded examples of this work, which had until then never been seen by modern metalsmiths. The gold-granulation decorative process had been lost, but Roman dealer and jeweler Fortunato Castellani sought to revive the styles, motifs, and artistry of such pieces. He did indeed discover the long-lost methods, and his copies became world-famous, the definitive modern reproductions of this ancient technique; the process is now often just referred to as 'Castellani-style'.
THE BUTTON: The steel-bodied button has an Etruscan escutcheon over a wooden background, although the center motif is Neo-Classic style. There are also a few important additions typical of the Etruscan style: the balls at the base of each radiating brass strip, this particular leaf shape, and the zip-zag pattern on the flat brass strips.
Above information is from the About Buttons book by Peggy Ann Osborne

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