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Brooch with profile of Ellen Walters after a bust by William Henry Rinehart
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Brooch with profile of Ellen Walters after a bust by William Henry Rinehart

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description In 1862, William T. Walters visited the workshop of Augusto Castellani (1829-1914) in Rome. Walters commissioned a brooch commemorating his wife, who had died earlier that year. The portrait cameo was carved by the well-known engraver Tommaso Saulini after a bust of Mrs. Walters (WAM 28.8) by the Maryland sculptor William T. Rinehart (1825-74). This cameo was given to Jennie Walters, daughter of William and Ellen. A second cameo of Mrs. Walters is also recorded, and passed to the Walters family in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Tommaso has trained with in the studio of the Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, and his reputation was based on his cameos reproducing the compositions of other artists, notably his teacher Thorvaldsen, and the English sculptors, Joseph Gott and John Gibson. At the international exhibition held in London in 1862 he dominated the Cameo Section in the Roman Court, displaying 15 shell cameos of neoclassical subjects and five onyx cameos, four of which were copied from ancient prototypes. That same year, through the intercession of Gibson, Saulini received commissions to execute a number of double portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for the "Royal Order of Victoria and Albert." The exact date of the Saulini cameo of Mrs. Walters has not been determined. Provided that his visit to the International Exhibition of 1862 did not coincide completely with Rhinehart's work on the bust, Saulini could well have had the opportunity to examine the marble bust or a model since the American sculptor was a close neighbour of his in Rome. However, he could just have easily worked from a photograph similar to an albumen print of the bust preserved in the archive of the Walters Art Museum.
Date Description Narrative
11/18/1987Examinationexamined for condition
3/15/2004Loan Considerationexamined for loan
6/06/2006Examinationexamined for condition
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • The Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry. The Bard Graduate Center, New York. 2004-2005.
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry. El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso. 2010.
  • Rinehart's Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2015.
Provenance Commissioned by William T. Walters, Rome, 1862. Mrs. Frederick B. Adams (granddaughter of the subject); given to Walters Art Museum, 1972.
Credit Gift of Mrs. Frederick B. Adams, 1972

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ca. 1862
shell, gold
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
H: 2 5/8 × W: 2 3/16 × D: 11/16 in. (6.6 × 5.5 × 1.8 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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