Peruzzi Jewel shop was a firm founded in Boston, MA by Gino Peruzzi in the early 1930’s. This jewelry was cast and stamped with mythological and archeological motifs. Measures 7 1/2 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide. Very solid and heavy. The word "grotesque" comes from the Latin grotto, meaning a cave, either natural or artificial. The expression comes from the unearthing and rediscovery of ancient Roman decorations in caves and other buried sites in the 15th century. Such "caves" were in fact the rooms and corridors of the Domus Aurea, an unfinished palace complex started by Nero after the great fire from 64 AD. Grotesques were fashionable in ancient Rome and were used chiefly in frescoed wall and ceiling decoration. They were described by Vitruvius (around 30 BCE), who in dismissing them as meaningless and illogical, offered quite a good description of them: "reeds are substituted for columns fluted appendages with curly leaves and volutes take the place of pediments, candelabra support representations of shrines, and on top of their roofs grow slender stalks and volutes with human figures senselessly seated upon them."
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