What is Etruscan Style Jewelry

Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization between the 9th and 2nd centuries B.C. Although there is some confusion as to their history, it is well known that the Phoenicians had a huge impact on the jewelry making techniques that the Etruscians continued to develop.

Etruscan refers to a civilization of ancient Italy.  It's homeland was in the area of central italy, just north of Rome which is today called Tuscany.

Etruscan Revival Gold Wire Work Bracelet

Etruscan Revival Gold Wire Work Bracelet

It is thought that much of the jewelry that was made was made for the afterlife and much of it was never actually worn.  It is thru archeology that we have learned about this civilization that forever changed the world of jewelry.

Influences to the jewelry of the time came from outside the area. Greek influence generated pomegranates, acorns, the lotus flower and palms along with the sculpted head. Egyptian influence can be seen in the use of the scarab, the ancient symbol of luck.

Etruscan Repousse Earrings

Etruscan Repoussé Earrings. Earrings of the period often covered a good portion of the ear and would travel down along the neck.

It was the 1860s that the Etruscan Revival took place patterning their designs and their workmanship off the ancient practices of the Etruscan community. Of course gemstones were used as well as enameling but it is the granulation, the scrolled wire work and the repoussé that really sets this jewelry apart.

Granulation is the art of decorating with tiny gold balls.  Each ball is seperately soldered to the surface of the jewelry piece. This art was developed over 2,000 years ago and during the Etruscan Revival period, it's art was revived.

Repoussé is a French work and translates as 'push out'. The designed is raised on the front by pushing out / hammering from the back. This work can be extremely delicate.

Etruscan Revival Granulation Earrings

Etruscan Revival gold earrings with Granulation

Filigree / Scrolled Wire Work was a part of the intricate work of the Etruscians and again returned in the Etruscan Revival. Wires of gold and ball were worked to created either an open work design or attaching the design to the surface of the jewelry piece.

Looking back helps us to better understand the skill and history of the jewelry we wear today. Although the Etruscan Revival period was 150 years ago, jewelry still fits within that category to present day.

1 comment


Daye is an avid collector and researcher of all things vintage.

1 comment

  • Kelly Davison
    Kelly Davison

    I purchased a set (necklace, bracelet & earrings) at a yard sale a few years ago. It’s marked SIAM STERLING. The box reads BANGKOK JEWELS
    2, PAK SHA ROAD, GR. FL.
    Please let me know where a pic can be sent! Thanks so much!

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