the moretto

The “moretto” is an item of jewellery that best encapsulates the classical image of Shakespeare’s Othello and the refined goldsmith’s techniques of 18th-century Venice.

Dressed in his characteristic clothes and turban, the blackamoor, or “moretto”, is embellished by the infinite styles and combinations of its creators’ unbridled fantasy and skill.

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Blackamoors have a long history in decorative art stretching all the way back to 17th century Italy and the famous blackamoor sculptor Andrea Brustolon (1662-1732). Blackamoors are especially popular in Venice where they still grace entrances to grand salons. The sculptures are most often fashioned as lamps and candelabras or as tables and stands. Blackamoors enjoyed a resurgence of popularity during the early to mid 20th century and our pair is from the 1950s.

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