Italian flavours

Antique five-strand necklace of Mediterranean coral, Italy circa 1900

Sapori Italiani, the flavours of Italy... whether you think of the scent of ripe lemons, the taste of fresh pasta or the aroma of well-ripened Parmesan cheese, it's not hard to love the culinary treasures of this boot-shaped country. Italian jewellery is also in a class of its own - it's not for nothing that the products of Italy's great jewellers, such as Buccellati, Bulgari or Pomellato, are now among the most sought-after collectors' items. But even far from haute joaillerie, old Italian jewellery is characterised by a skilful use of the natural materials that the Mediterranean has given the country's inhabitants. Coral belonged to the princely chambers of art and curiosities as early as the Medici period, and the museums in Florence, Rome and Naples still hold numerous marvels of nature made of this material, elevated to admirable works of art by art-minded Italians. Jewels made of Mediterranean coral are part of the love for this material which is hardly mined today, but 100 years ago was the livelihood of many artisans in the south of Italy. The magnificent necklace made of five strands of natural Mediterranean coral bears witness to this. The salmon red beads become thicker towards the middle of the necklace, showing a beautiful variation of different shades from delicate to strong colour. The corals have been newly strung by us, as it is recommended to renew the pearl silk from time to time. The original clasp made of tombac with gold plating on which ten more corals can be admired holds the five strands securely. The large necklace weighing more than 87 grams found its way to us here in Berlin and may once have been a precious souvenir from an Italian trip. It was created in the years around 1900.

The coral has been worshipped as a sign of good luck since ancient times. From the 17th century, for example, it has been handed down from Venice that the coral "Portati dovunque l'huomo sia, ò in casa, ò in nave, scaccia le cattive ombre de gli spiriti, sogni, fulmini, venti, e tempeste e gli diffende da ogni assalto di fiere." - "Wherever man goes, whether he is at home or traveling by ship, the coral drives away the evil shadows of spirits, bad dreams, lightning, winds, and tempests, and protects against every evil." (Isabella Palumbo Fossati Casa: Intérieurs vénitiens à la Renaissance. Maisons, société et culture, Paris 2012, p. 276) In Naples, for example, people still use amulets made of coral to protect themselves against all kinds of evil.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.