Fortunato Pio Catellani 1793-1865
Alessandro Castellani 1824-1883
Augusto Castellani 1829-1914
1814 Son of a jeweller, Fortunato Castellani entered his father's Rome workshop
1816 By the age of 20 was a manufacturing goldsmith in Rome.
1820s He befriended Michaelangelo Caetini a famous archaeologist who later became the Duke of Sermoneta. A man of considerable wealth & influence he inspired Fortunato and his 2 sons to produce jewels of antique & archaelogical inspiration. Prompted by multiple discoveries in the archaeological realm, Castellani mastered the skill of applying gold granular decoration on to many of his classical designs. This made a huge impact as sinse the technique was thought to have been lost with the ancient Etruscans. They established a revival of the Etruscan style in jewellery as well as that of Byzantine, Carolingian and Renaissance.
1826 He began making jewellery in gold and filigree, copied from the early Roman jewellery unearthed in the extensive archaeological excavations then being undertaken.
1836, Through his friend and patron, Michelangelo Caetani, Duke of Sermoneta, he advised at the excavation of the great Regulini Galassi tomb which yielded the most sophisticated and perfect collection of Etruscan metalwork. Much influenced he learnt the technical secrets of the ancient goldsmiths, in order to copy their jewellery with its granulated decoration. After much research, he found craftsmen - in the small town of St.Angelo in Vado in the Marches - who were working with techniques similar to the Etruscans:and them work for him in Rome.
1848, the political situation in Italy forced the workshop to close, and no business was done in Rome for ten years. Both Alessandro and Augusto seem to have been virtually in exile during that period. Vever claims that Alessandro was in Paris, and there is also some evidence to suggest that one or both of the brothers spent some time in London.
1851 Fortunato Pio Castellani retired leaving the business to his 2 sons.
1858 Alessandro and Augusto Castellani reopened the workshop.They were both experts in the field of antique and classical jewellery and popularized the archaeological style which their father had pioneered in the first half of the nineteenth century. Augusto Castellani formed the famous collezione Castellani of antique jewellery, part of which forms the basis of the collection at the Villa Giulia in Rome.
1859 Mr and Mrs Robert Browning secretly viewed some of the more Important commissions given to Castellani notably the presentation swords subscribed for by the citizens of Rome and made to be given in gratitude to Napoleon III and King Victor Emmanuel II. Notable clients included Napoleon III, Prince Albert, and Queen Victoria's daughter, Empress Frederick of Prussia. No nineteenth-century lady visiting Italy would consider her tour of Rome complete without calling at Castellani's shop near the Spanish Steps to acquire one of the famous pieces of Italian Archaeological jewellery.
1860's Alessandro Castellani opened a branch in Paris and in London at 13 Frith Street. The firm quickly acquired a high reputation under its manager Carlo Giuliano
1861 Started their reputation in England when their archaeological style jewellery in Jermyn Street, and Augusto Castellani read a paper to the Archaeological Association. This was extensively reported by Burges in The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review.
1862 They showed their work at the International Exhibition in London, where the gold jewellery decorated with granulation in the Etruscan style created a sensation.
1874 Carlo Giuliano left Castellani and opened his own shop at 115 Piccadilly
1914 Castellani passed onto Alfredo Castellani when Augusto died
1930 Castellani closed when Alfredo died.