By David Brough
TORRE DEL GRECO, Italy – A vast array of exquisite contemporary and period hand crafted coral jewellery and objects, as well as extraordinary cameo, is showcased at the Liverino Museum by appointment.
A 15-minute drive from Naples, Torre del Greco is the home of coral and cameo carving in Italy, and is the headquarters of leading companies in the sector, notably Liverino, a family-owned manufacturer which dates back to 1894.
Now led by Enzo Liverino, who is well known in the international jewellery trade for his work with CIBJO, World Jewellery Confederation, and his focus on standards and sustainability in coral, Liverino’s production supplies leading jewellery brands around the world.
The coral jewellery and objects on display include contemporary pieces, as well as historic items, including a coral necklace ordered for Joséphine de Beauharnais, who was married to Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th century.
Coral necklace ordered for Joséphine de Beauharnais
Other historic objects include a shepherd, probably part of “The Coral Mountain”, a Mediterranean coral item carved in Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily, that was given to Philip II, King of Spain, by the Vice-King of Sicily in 1570.
Items on display at the museum include decorative garments carved in coral and other materials, outstanding examples of Asian coral, a John Wayne “Western” sculpture in coral, as well as cameo pieces, including European crafted items such as a large and extremely rare Sardonix shell cameo celebrating the British empire and depicting Queen Victoria, carved by Giovanni Sabbato over a decade in the late 19th century.
Liverino’s sprawling facility in Torre del Greco, with views of the Neapolitan coastline, includes the coral and cameo factory that uses traditional tools to hone exceptional items of contemporary jewellery.
Enzo Liverino at his coral and cameo factory in Torre del Greco
Enzo Liverino has donated a number of extraordinary hand carved coral objects and sculptures to the community of Naples, including the Pio Monte della Misericordia, which showcases a remarkable painting by Caravaggio, and inside the museum housing the celebrated Treasure of San Gennaro.
To visit the Liverino Museum, please email: [email protected]
Enzo Liverino and Giovanni Micera (right facing), publisher of Naples-based Preziosa magazine, in front of a coral sculpture, “To Eusebia”, presented by Enzo to the Treasure of San Gennaro exhibition