Lot 233
signed Cartier Sterling, signed Alfredo Sciarrotta (silversmith at Cartier NY in the 1950s) Height 7.2 cm, total weight 163 Alfredo Sciarrotta designed handmade items of silver for Cartier NY in the 1950s. An Italian-American born in in Rossano, Calabria, Italy, Alfredo Sciarrotta was a silversmith and expert in undersea weapons. He studied mechanical engineering, and in the years leading up to the War II, he worked at a munitions factory. He developed an expertise in the field of undersea weapons and enabled his acquisition as an asset by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1943. His former mentor Carlo Colossi had pioneered the magnetic torpedo exploder for the Germans during the war. To protect the secret hardware for the Allied war effort, Sciarrotta and a team of scientists and engineers were smuggled out of Italy with weapon-related hardware and tools. After the fall of Italy to the allies, Sciarrotta continued to provide valuable insight and intel to the U.S. Navy. As a reward for his service to the United States, the government offered Sciarrotta a permanent position at the Naval Torpedo Station. However, he decided to follow his artistic interests and develop of his craft, creating art objects of copper, brass and eventually sterling silver. His designs became known as “The Wedding Gift of Philadelphia and Newport” and he was often referred to as the «Modern Cellini’. Sciarrotta’s work was commissioned for gifts presented by the City of Newport to visiting dignitaries, including President Eisenhower, the Italian President Giovanni Gronchi, fighter Rocky Marciano,[2] and Mayor Delmas of Antibes, France in 1962.