A Giacinto Melillo silver drinking vessel

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A beautiful silver drinking vessel by Giacinto Melillo.  The body decorated with repouse and chased design of flowers with various images of a bird around the rim.  Almost art nouveau in style, it is almost certainly of classical inspiration.  I believe the bird is the Stymphalian from Greek legend, but it may represent a Phoenix.

As with most of Melillo’s work this piece is probably inspired by a Roman example in Naples Museum.  I think in this case possibly a glass beaker though as yet not identified.

This beaker is of an exceptionally heavy gauge of silver which is typical of Melillo’s work. Dating to around 1900. Condition is excellent.

Giacinto Melillo was Castellani’s workshop manager from 1865 and attributed with making many of his finest pieces of jewellery. Around 1885 Melillo established his own independent business in Naples making similar revivalist classical pieces.  The design of this dish is probably based on an original Etruscan or Roman piece in bronze or pottery.  He died in 1914 and his son continued the business under the same for some years after.

Maker: Giacinto Melillo, Italy

Designer: Giacinto Melillo, Italy

Date : c 1900

Marks: G. Melillo

Material: Sterling silver

Condition: Excellent

Size: 14.75 cm high

Weight: 517 grams, 18.2 oz

SKU: A992 Category:


See G Munn, Castellani and Giuliano. The British Museum holds a gold Etruscan revival bracelet by Giacinto Melillo ref M&ME Hull Grundy Catalogue 959. The Metropolitan Museum, New York holds a classically inspired silver jug by Melillo ref 2006.381.

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Price range

£1,000 – 5,000