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Spanish Colonial Metalwork in European Works of Art from The Collection of Luigi Pellettieri

Luigi Pellettieri was an avid admirer and connoisseur of the 16th and 17th Century European aesthetic. An important focus in the interiors of his home was the addition of metal work in the Spanish Colonial style, helping to create a visual antidote to the dark woods and rich fabrics. The objects Luigi Pellettieri collected reflect the relationship between the Old World and the New World which was changing during an age of exploration in the Americas. Attracted to provincial forms, he collected wares that mimicked Spanish Colonial silver but were formed from white metal. White metal is a term for metal that can be comprised of a variety of light-colored alloys, and is also a term used for decorative art objects that are unmarked and do not test for silver. Often used as a durable and less expensive substitute for silver, white metal can be used to create tableware and devotional objects, as well as sculpture. The wares in the Pellettieri collection recall the Spanish Colonial Period when the mining of precious metals in Central and South America was widespread and materials were in abundance. The silver ore mined during this period was readily refined locally as there were vast natural deposits of mercury. Mercury was considered the most valuable mineral surpassing silver and gold. The combination of the wealth and natural resources produced a unique style of silversmithing, an amalgamation of a substantial hand-wrought style, European refinement and indigenous influences that can be seen in these bold forms.

Time & Location

European Works of Art in The Collection of Luigi Pellettieri
Thursday, July 15 at 11am

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