Italia and Germania

Large shellgemme in silver with marcasites, around 1935

"Italia & Germania" is the title of a painting by Friedrich Overbeck from 1828, today in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. It shows two women, in friendship with each other, symbolizing the bond between Italy and Germany. The two women are sitting on a terrace bench, holding hands tenderly. The one on the left has dark hair and wears a laurel wreath, while the blond hair of the one on the right is garlanded with flowers. Preliminary studies for the painting hold other details: Here Germania's head is adorned with oak leaves. The close connection between Italy and Germany is sometimes evident not only in painting, but also in goldsmithing. For the brooch here combines the two countries in one beautiful piece of jewellery. The large shell cameo in the center of the brooch was certainly cut in Italy. It shows an elegant lady in evening dress, her hair pinned up and her ears adorned with drop-shaped earrings. While in the 19th century it was mostly deities that were the subject of the gem cutters at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, the ideal of beauty changed in the first decades of the 20th century to the grace of the female figure in general. The silver setting, on the other hand, was made in Germany, as evidenced by the silver stamp. It shows just as fine details as the gem, is openworked and completely set with marcasites in millgriffes settings. Its design language and workmanship allow us to date the brooch to the 1930s. This well-preserved piece of jewellery found its way to us here in Berlin and is an eye-catcher for all friends of Italy.

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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.

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