Castellani and Giuliano

Castellani and Giuliano

Lot 323, Spring 2017

Giuliano Brooch (Carlo and Arthur Giuliano), Diamond, Sapphire, and Chrysoprase, Lot 323, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

The nineteenth Century is a time of change. Industry creates a growing middle class. Archaeology is invented, and all around the Mediterranean, sites reveal beautiful decorative items of the ancient world. Artifacts of ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Italian peninsula provide inspiration. Designers look fondly back on the ancient world. Castellani and Giuliano are two jewellers drawing on this inspiration, and become two of the most important names in jewellery history.


Fortunato Pio Castellani was a collector and dealer in artifacts of the ancient world. Founding a business in Rome in 1814, Castellani is one of the first dealers to bring ancient decorative items of beauty to 19th century customers.

Lot 327 Spring 2017

Castellani Caduceus Hairpin, Circa 1875, Lot 327 offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Castellani’s believed the ancient world produced the most beautiful items. He also felt the forgotten styles and techniques of our ancestors should be resurrected. The delicacy of hand made and custom ornamented artifacts of the ancient world would benefit connoisseurs and collectors.

The house of Castellani, under Fortunato’s sons, Alessandro and Augusto, thrived in Rome. They began creating fine jewels inspired by jewels of the ancient world. The company gained a reputation for being the go-to place for interesting and beautiful interpretations of ancient design in a modern (nineteenth Century) world.

Symbols found in ancient art, mythological creatures, ancient wine jugs, (for example, a ram, and amphora, seen in the brooch, below), and religious images are among the forms commonly found in Castellani jewels. A caduceus, seen in the hairpin, above, was an ancient Greek and also ancient Egyptian symbol of messengers (bringers of good news), only more recently has the symbol come to represent the medical profession. The jewels often contain mixed images drawn from different places in ancient history.


Lot 326 Spring 2017

Castellani brooch, Circa 1880s, a mythical ram’s head with an amphora, Lot 326, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

The Castellani family often visited archaeological sites. They examined ancient jewels as they were excavated. With access to these jewels, the family became fascinated by metal-working techniques that had been lost in the mists of time.

Delicate filigree and texturing with tiny grains of gold (“granulation”) were decorative elements that the Castellani family really wanted to revive. After decades of work, they re-discovered these methods and produced incredible jewels. As a result, the elements of ancient design were incorporated into highly desirable jewels which appealed to Europe’s wealthiest classes.

Worldwide Reputation

By the late 1850s, travellers to Italy and Rome absolutely had to make a stop at Castellani’s to make a purchase of their famous “revival” jewels. These treasures were so popular that Castellani opened stores in Paris and London.


Lot 325, Spring 2017

Giuliano pendant on a Tiffany & Co chain, with Garnets, Circa 1890, Lot 325, offered in Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

The London office was opened by Castellani protege Carlo Giuliano. Giuliano became fascinated by the jewels of the Renaissance. Thus, he shifted his focus from ancient to Renaissance jewels of the 1500’s. The jewels of Giuliano rarely focused on expensive gemstones, the gems were seen as an integral part of the design. The pendant, above, is a perfect representation of this focus.

The jewels of the ancient world had very little enamel, but there was widespread use of enamel in the Renaissance. The Castellanis used stone inlay and mosaic in their ancient revival jewels. Giuliano, however, worked widely with delicate enamels.

Giuliano opened his own business in London, and immediately developed a reputation for extraordinary Renaissance revival jewels. A trademark of work by Giuliano was very delicate enamel work. Of great note is the unique combination of black detail on white enamel, or white on black. Below, the brooch shows the delicate enamel work of Giuliano.

Lot 322 Spring 2017

Giuliano Brooch (Carlo and Arthur Giuliano) garnets and enamel, Circa 1900, Lot 322, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Giuliano and Castellani jewels are known for being decorated on the back. Most jewellers don’t bother with making the back of jewels pretty. Both Castellani and Giuliano looked at the complete beauty of the entire jewel. The pleasure of a beautiful reverse side of a jewel provides joy to the wearer each time they put it on and take it off.

While Castellani and Giuliano made what are called Archaeological and Renaissance Revival jewels, they were inspired by, but not direct copies of designs and styles from bygone eras. Cameos, similar to the one below, are often seen in ancient Roman jewels, but this cameo is framed by classic Giuliano black and white enamel.

Lot 324, Spring 2017

Giuliano Cameo Pendant, Lot 324, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Castellani and Giuliano are two of the most important names in the history of jewellery. These two names generate real excitement among collectors. At Dupuis, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to offer six important jewels from these two houses in a single auction.

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Diamond Carat Weight: Large is Rare

Diamonds By The Carat: Large Is Rare

Lot 400, Spring 2017

Van Cleef & Arpels ring, marquise 6.47 carat D colour, VS-1 clarity, Lot 400, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $240,000

We weigh diamonds in carats. A carat is a metric measurement of 200 milligrams. That means 5 carats equals a gram. Most people will never own a gram of diamonds. While a large diamond is rare, a really large one is extremely rare. Also, most diamonds mined in the world will not be of a quality to become gems, and may be used for industrial purposes. Thus, there aren’t many gem quality diamonds

One Carat

One carat is a good sized diamond, makes an impressive statement, and is larger than most people will ever own.

1.00ct Lot 113, Spring 2017

1.00 carat, Lot 113, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $4,400.

Two Carats

Two carats, that much rarer than one carat, has a value that is about twice the value, per carat, of an equivalent one carat gem, all other things being equal. Meaning that a two carat diamond is at least twice as rare as one carat, and a two carat diamond will be four times the price of an equivalent one carat (twice the price per carat, plus twice the carats).

Lot 330 Spring 2017

2.14 carat, lot 330, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $16,000

As each new carat weight is reached, there can be an increase in price per carat.

Three Carats

Lot 328 Spring 2017

3.00 carat, Lot 328, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Looking at the diamonds as they increase in size, the diamond becomes rarer and rarer.

Four Carats

Lot 353, Spring 2017

4.15 carat, Lot 353, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $12,000

Most people will never even see a 5 carat diamond, let alone OWN one!

Five Carats

Lot 352, Spring 2017

5.01 carat cushion shaped, Lot 352, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

There is no question of the obviously impressive visual impact of larger diamonds

Six Carats

Lot 397, Spring 2017

6.35 carat, Lot 397, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $90,000

A seven carat gem is a similar price per carat to five and six carat weights.

Seven Carats

Lot 334, Spring 2017

7.64 carat, Lot 334, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $55,000

Once we get to ten carats, it it enough to make people stop in their tracks. The price per carat really jumps, because ten carats is so rare.

In the Spring 2017 Important Jewels auction, there are six diamonds with a weight greater than 10 carats.

Ten Carats

Lot 336, Spring 2017

10.00 carat, Lot 336, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $60,000

What more is there to say? A pair of earrings: Two diamonds with a total of over 27 carats!

Thirteen Carats (Each)

Lot 404, Spring 2017

13.58 carat, and 13.62 carats, Lot 404, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $320,000

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Antique Jewels: 19th Century




Late Victorian Natural Pearl and Diamond Pendant/Brooch, Lot 404 in the Dupuis Fall 2016 Important jewels Auction

Antique jewels have a story. Sometimes we aren’t told what the story is. We can, however, discover the tale by reading the secrets of the jewel.

History is a moment in time. In antique jewels, these moments are revealed by examining gems, design styles, themes, and metals. Also, owners can help by providing anecdotes, reminiscences, pictures, or documents.

The years from 1800 to 1899 are an important period in history. Pivotally, the industrial revolution changes the way people live, work, travel, and build the things of daily life.


Antique Victorian Hardstone Cameo and 14K Gold Brooch, Lot 512 in the Dupuis Fall 2016 Important Jewels Auction

There is a growing middle class. People are upwardly mobile, with spare spending money. Concentrations of population and wealth in cities creates a growing artist class. Hence there are more decorative items produced and more people using them.


Lot 324 Spring 2017

Victorian brooch by Carlo Giuliano, offered in Dupuis Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, Lot 324

Britain’s Queen Victoria is the ruler of the British Empire. At the time, the British rule over a huge part of the world. Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901. We often call this the Victorian period. Her children marry into many other European royal families. World change in her time is huge.


Victoria is one of the first world leaders to be photographed. It’s the origin of the paparazzi. Every time Queen Victoria goes out, the cameras are also out. Cameras are large and unwieldy in their early days, but photography brings big change. Thus, we all see photos of Victoria and her jewels.

Once upon a time, antique jewels were the latest thing. Now antique jewels are unique wearable works of art. It’s rare to find two identical Victorian jewels. We’re all fascinated by these beautiful and unique works of art.

Lot 97, spring 2017

Victorian pocket watch, offered in the Dupuis Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, Lot 97

In the Victorian Age, our time is more effectively used. More people carry a watch, there are more people with more leisure time. We see more and more information about the world outside of our borders. These borders are both geographic and historic.

Historically, we look at ourselves in our own back yards. The Victorian middle class saw pictures of interesting far-away places. Archaeologists all over Europe, Egypt, and further afield bring ancient art of great beauty to light.

Collectors become obsessed with these artifacts. Therefore, artists begin to explore work of the ancient world. The result is remarkable jewels of jewellers such as Castellani and Giuliano.

The archaeological revival work of these jewellers creates a buzz at auction. These antique jewels are exceptional, inspired by the most beautiful and enduring art of the ancient world.

Lot 327 Spring 2017

Antique hair ornament by Castellani. (One is in the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York). Offered in the Dupuis Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, Lot 327

The work of Castellani & Giuliano is explored in another post.

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Egyptian influences

 Egyptian Influences


Egyptian faience amulet built in to a Victorian brooch. Lot 110 in the Dupuis Fall 2016 Important Jewels Auction

Did you know that the world has been fascinated with the world of ancient Egypt since it was not ancient? Every time someone uncovers a tomb or grave in ancient Egypt, we see Egyptian influences flowing in to the art, architecture, and jewels of the modern world.

Pre Tutankhamun

Before the tomb of Tutankhamun was uncovered, tourists, archaeologists, and grave robbers visited the Valley of the Kings, and explored the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, the tomb of Ramses and all the important sites of ancient Egypt. Exploration uncovered tombs and artifacts regularly.

Sometimes whole tombs were discovered, and sometimes small decorative artifacts were found. Both architectural style and decorative elements found their way around the world.

Nineteenth century explorers and travellers returned to show what they had found in Egypt. Often collected or purchased artifacts were incorporated into decoration and jewellery.

After Tutankhamun

Sometimes there were blends of styles and influences. We see elements from many cultures, styles and geographies influencing each other, more and more as travel and communication became easier in the 19th century.

After the tomb of Tutankhamun was re-discovered in 1922, the world sat up and paid attention, and the Egyptian influences became even stronger.


Art Deco brooch, Circa 1930, with obvious Egyptian influences after the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, Lot 363, in the Dupuis Fall 2016 Important Jewels Auction



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Did You Know? Tanzanite is a one source gem

Tanzanite: A One Source Gem



Tanzanite 23.5 carats, lot 323 in the Dupuis Fall 2016 Important Jewels Auction

Did you know, Tanzanite is a one source gem?  This remarkable blue to purple blue gem comes from one place in the world.

The gem is mined in Arusha, near Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. There are some tiny amounts found in a neighbouring Kenya. Geology doesn’t recognize political boundaries, I guess.

Tiffany & Co introduced the lively blue gem to the jewellery world in 1967. Before that, it was not known in the gem world.


Tiffany & Co Tanzanite and diamond bracelet, Lot 353 in the Dupuis Fall 2016 Important Jewels Auction

Tanzanite is most prized for bright blue colour and for being very free from visible inclusions.

Because it is a one source gem, we always wonder when the source will run out.

There are hardly any gems that are only found in only one place, making tanzanite genuinely remarkable.



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Did You Know? Royal Provenance

Royal Provenance

This antique brooch, Circa 1850, is accompanied by a notarized letter indicating that it is from the estate of His Imperial Highness, Archduke of Austria, Luis Salvador of Habsburg-Lorraine and Borbon. Royal Provenance makes everything more interesting.


Lot 325, in the Dupuis Fall 2016 Important Jewels Auction

It is a beautiful emerald in a lovely brooch with an interesting story. We can’t verify it ourselves, but the background certainly makes this beautiful jewel even more interesting.

Who doesn’t want to be able to tell the story of an Imperial personage and imagine the lifestyle that would have accompanied such a jewel? What tales it could tell.

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Auctions Simplified



Bidding at an auction, or even attending an auction, is an adventure that’s entertaining and fun.

Some people wonder if going to an auction might see them leaving with treasures they didn’t mean to buy. The idea of bidding on something because you winked your eye or coughed does make some people a little nervous. The auctioneer works hard to recognize real bids, so a laugh or a raised eyebrow likely won’t generate a bid.

Dupuis provides you with the opportunity to acquire beautiful jewels through the highly respected centuries-old process of auction.

Buying at auction is simple, you can bid and buy with confidence and comfort. At auction, we aim to provide as much detail and information as possible.



All Dupuis auctions have a catalogue that includes a photo of each jewel, a title, and a  description. Catalogues are issued in print for Dupuis Live auctions, and catalogues are on line and on phone and tablet apps for all auctions.



In many cases, there is an additional “condition report” to make you a well-informed bidder. Condition reports may include measurements, ring sizes, colour descriptions, and other pertinent details.



If you need additional details that are not included in catalogues or condition reports, Dupuis is happy to answer to your questions.  We can provide more information or photos.



Previews allow anyone to try on any of the jewels in the auction. Dupuis Auctions features a gallery with all of the jewels displayed in showcases. Dupuis knowledgable staff are on hand to assist. Previews are free, and no bookings are necessary to visit.



Dupuis live auctions are held on one Sunday in November, and one Sunday in June. Online auctions last for one week.

In order to bid at the auction, you do need to register. The process is very simple, there is one form to fill in, it can be done in advance, on line, or on auction day at the venue.


Each item in the auction is offered for bidding. There is a pre-auction estimate stating the estimated selling price range. The estimate serves as a guideline to bidders, items may sell within the range, or sometimes for more.


There is a “reserve”, or minimum, on most items at auction. Items offered at auction are not for sale below a reserve. Reserves are confidential. You could assume that the lowest selling price might be the low end of the pre-auction estimate.



Once you have found what you absolutely must have (very likely at a Dupuis auction), you will want to think about how much you want to spend. Successful bidders have so many things to choose from. You may want to provide yourself with some alternatives in case you find that someone wants it even more than you, and bids beyond your limit.

If you are bidding, a bid is an offer to buy. If you are the highest bidder, the jewel is yours (once you pay). You will be required to pay the bid amount plus a buyer’s premium of 25% and appropriate sales tax. Remember this when planning your budget.




Some people will lead off on the bidding, others will hold back to see what’s going to happen, jumping in at the last minute. Some nod their head or scratch their ear, it’s easiest for the auctioneer to see a paddle held high. There’s no correct way, but auctioneers prefer that you bid high and bid often.



If you are the successful bidder, you have 5 days to pay for the jewel that you have purchased. Payment can be made by bank draft, wire transfer, or credit card.


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Award Winning Jewels

Diamonds International Award winning jewels: Lot 297 Bick & Ostor maple leaf

Diamonds International Award Winning Jewel, 1960, by Bick & Ostor, Montreal. Lot 297 in the Dupuis Fall 2015 Auction


Jewels are small works of art. Each is designed and planned by an artist who has the ideas to create a small wearable artwork. Jewellery design competitions are a place for artists to shine. The designer uses precious materials and creativity to produce a jewel that makes us sit up and pay attention.

INSPIRATION for Award Winning Jewels

Award winning jewels are the result of the artist’s imagination, plus competition guidelines, and materials that provide inspiration.

A designer will have their own ideas and style that set their jewel apart from the competition. There are judges for competitions who will decide which designs stand above the rest. Those selected will be featured as the award winning jewels.

Award Winning Jewels: Lot 297 Fall 2015 Diamonds international winner 1960

Original Watercolour Rendering (Left), and the Finished jewel (Right), Diamonds International Winner, 1960, by Bick & Ostor, lot 297, Dupuis Fall 2012 Auction


Jewellery designers will use competitions to express themselves in ways that may not be possible in day to day work. It is a little like clothing design: Runway fashion shows express the pure art of the designer, but may not show the regular day to day designs. Award winning jewels will be one-of-a-kind, and use the finest materials and artisanship.

Many industry groups hold design competitions. The jewellery world has these contests in many specialty areas.

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has the annual “Spectrum Competition” for designs featuring coloured gemstones.  AGTA Spectrum Awards

Award Winning Jewels: lot 388 Fall 2012

Cultured pearl brooch, Lot 338, sold in the Dupuis Fall 2012 Jewels Auction, was an Award Winner in a Pearl Jewel Design Competition

The Cultured Pearl Association of America selects award winning jewels from entrants to its competition for cultured pearl jewellery design.  Cultured Pearl Association of America design awards


Diamonds International Awards catalogue 1960

Diamonds International Awards Catalogue from 1960, featuring the Bick & Ostor Maple Leaf Jewel

The BIG one in the world of international jewellery design competitions is the Diamonds International Awards. For decades, designers from around the world have sent their best diamond jewel designs to the contest by deBeers marketing office, the “diamond is forever” people. The award winning jewels were selected by specialists, and travelled the world to show what amazing things could be done in jewels featuring diamonds.

Award Winning jewels: Jane Parker seejane draw design Diamonds International Winner Speckled Trout

Diamonds International Award Winning Jewel by Jane Parker, 1990 (made by Birks, not sold at Dupuis Auctions)

At Dupuis, we are proud to be able to offer a Diamonds International Award winning jewel in the Fall 2015 Auction.

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Internally flawless D colour, 3.15 carat

Internally flawless 3.15 carat emerald cut, D colour diamond ring, lot 420, in the Dupuis Fall 2015 Jewels Auction


The word “flawless” means one thing.  “Flawless” indicates that an item is without imperfection or blemish. It conveys the impression of something very special, out of the ordinary.

Sports and Arts

Only the rarest of things is flawless. In the sports world, a baseball pitcher with a “perfect game”; not allowing any opponents to reach base has certainly done something flawless. In music, a singer hitting every note and conveying every emotion through an opera has perhaps given a flawless performance. In gems, flawless has a very particular meaning.

internally flawless 3.23 carat fancy intense yellow

Internally flawless 3.23 carat, fancy intense yellow diamond in a ring, Lot 419, in the Dupuis Fall 2015 Jewels Auction


Gems are traditionally examined under a standard ten times (10X) magnification. If a gem is examined under a microscope or with a jewellers “loupe” at 10X and absolutely nothing is found in that precious stone, then it is considered flawless.

Gems occur in nature and form under all sorts of conditions, and among all sorts of other gems and minerals. It is highly uncommon to find a gem that has no other crystals or other tiny features inside, these common features are called “inclusions”.

Often the inclusions in a gem are so tiny that you can only see them by using a microscope or jeweller’s loupe. Sometimes an inclusion may be large enough to see with the naked eye. As a gemologist, I find crystal and mineral inclusions fascinating, but while the big and interesting inclusions make a gem a curiosity to a gemologist, they do certainly decrease the value.

Internally flawless 1.12ct diamond

Internally flawless 1.12 carat fancy yellow diamond, lot 417 in the Dupuis Fall 2015 Jewels Auction


A flawless diamond is extremely unusual. Due to the conditions of the formation of these gems, it is extremely rare to find a gem that is considered “flawless”. Only occasionally will a diamond receive such a grade. It makes them particularly valuable.

An “internally flawless” gem has a total lack of internal features that might be seen under 10X magnification, but may have some very tiny surface feature that doesn’t enter into the gem at all.

In the Fall 2015 auction, we have a number of these important gems. It takes a long time to grade these gems, because you really have to be completely thorough in examining them to  ensure that they really are flawless. These have all received the grading through the independent and internationally recognized grading laboratory at Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

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Presentation Jewels

Through history, jewels and items of precious metal have been given as tokens of recognition. These tokens are sometimes made as presentations to people who have achieved something of note.

Presentation: A Gold Watch For 25 Years of Service

Presentation items are given in recognition of service to a company, for years of service, goals reached, contracts clinched, and many other possible achievements. A brooch or plaque honouring ten years of service, or gold watches for 25 years of service are common presentation jewels.

Spring 2013 lot 526 presentation jewels

Eaton 1/4 century presentation watch, given for 25 years of service to a Eaton department store Lot 526, Dupuis Spring 2013 Auction

Sometimes a presentation jewel may be a token of appreciation for work well done, or for contribution to an achieved goal.

Presentation Jewels: A Case in Recognition of Service

Presentation jewels are often plaques, plates, cups or boxes, frequently made of precious metal.

Cartier W.H. Manton 141 presentation jewels

Silver and gold presentation compact given by Queen Elizabeth, Lot 141, Spring 2015 Auction

At Dupuis we are honoured to have had the opportunity to offer such an item. This silver and gold compact was commissioned on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  It was given to a loyal subject in recognition of service to the Commonwealth. It was presented in a red leather box bearing the Queen’s QEII cypher, and signed by Cartier.

Thought in almost new condition, this box appears to actually have been lightly used by its recipient, which is good: There are so many presentation items that are put on a table and never used again. These are items that deserve to be worn, carried, or used with pride.

One type of presentation jewel that is usually worn with pride is a championship sports ring. These rings are given to the victorious team members in annual championships. Championship rings are given for the World Series, Super Bowl, Grey Cup, or of course, the ever elusive Stanley Cup (at least to Toronto fans).

Jewels of Achievement: Championship Rings

Championship rings have a special meaning, and like all presentation jewels, each is unique, bearing the name of the person or organization presenting it, or the person receiving it.

duncan 2008 pictures 2587 presentation jewels

A Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Ring (1967) One of the rarest of Presentation Jewels (this one was not sold at a Dupuis Auction, but if you have one…)

Presentation jewels are very specialized, and Dupuis Auctions is always interested in considering items for possible consignment:

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