The archaeological discoveries of the 19th century led to a greater awareness and understanding of ancient jewellery. For the first time these intricate gold pieces were collected, studied and published, and both the originals and the published illustrations of them were a rich new source for designers of jewellery. The resulting 'archaeological-style' jewellery was fashionable from around 1860 until at least the 1880s. The Italian firm of Castellani was at the forefront of this style. Castellani both made jewellery and owned an extensive collection of antiquities. This necklace is a copy of a Greek original from around 330-300 BC that was excavated at Great Blinitza, in the Crimea in 1864, now at the Hermitage Museum.
Possibly the version shown by Alessandro Castellani at the International Exhibitions in Philadelphia in 1876 and 1878.