The Roman-born Negri studied with Augustus St. Gaudens, and counted gem collector J.P. Morgan among his acquaintances (both were members of the New York Mineralogical Club). Negri supplied carved gems to other jewelry designers who like Manz favored classical and historical forms: such as Elinor Evans Klapp (another Manz client); he was also mentor to mid-century gem engraver Beth Benton Sutherland, whose subjects included the children of modern industrialists. Sutherland, who in turn became a champion of the ancient art, used moonstone to set her contemporary work apart from the sardonyx and carnelian engravings favored by the ancients.
The model or inspiration for the young woman in the stone portrait in Manz's piece has not been identified, but the pendant passed to his eldest daughter, whose birth flower was a chrysanthemum. It and two other jewels by Manz were featured in the 2012 exhibit "Finer Things" at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, which highlighted the fashions and pastimes of an era that looked back one last time before plunging headlong into the modern age.
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