a yellow gold ladder supporting the figure of a Harlequin holding a gold slapstick decorated with hand painted enamel, the face disguised by a characteristic black mask.
In the Commedia dell’arte, the Harlequin is characterized by his chequered costume. His role is that of a light-hearted, nimble servant. He pursues his love interest, Colombina, with wit and resourcefulness.
Each step of the ladder represents another stage in the course of falling in love. As a 19th Century print shows (see below), it begins with admiration and flirtation, moving through to celebration and felicitation.
See pg 76 of ‘The Triumph of Love’ by Geoffrey Munn for another Giuliano jewel which incorporates a golden ladder. Another comparable jewel by Giuliano, with an enamel Harlequin, formed part of the Siegel Collection.
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