This Victorian period pin was made by well known Italian micro-mosaic artist, Fabbrica Angelo Pessar. (Fabbrica means "manufacturer" or "factory" in Italian.) Angelo Pessar and his workshop produced many micro-mosaic pieces, often with a floral or pastoral motif. These mosaics were a very fashionable and popular item to collect on the Grand Tour. This particular pin is an exemplary Egyptian Revival example.
The Grand Tour was a rite of passage starting in the late 17th Century. It continued for about 300 years, tapering off into obscurity around the turn of the 20th Century. A typical "Grand Tourist" would be an educated and wealthy Englishman, German, Scandinavian, or American. The trip was a method of architectural, cultural and social study. The itinerary could vary, but usually a Tour started in France and ended in Italy. It was common to collect various art, jewelry, and souvenirs to commemorate the trip. These items were usually sent home for loved ones, kept as mementos, or formed the basis of new life-long collections for the men who took the trip.*
Having an Egyptian Revival Grand Tour pin is very appropriate. The same sense of curiosity fed both trends; different cultures fascinated the Victorians. From freshly unearthed Egyptian artifacts to the ancient streets of Rome, the Victorians wanted a piece of everything.
Dimensions: 2.2 cm L x 2.3 cm W (0.7 in. x 0.6 in.)
Weight: 6.9 grams
Materials: Rolled-Gold and Glass
Metal: rolled gold (acid tests for 10k)
Marks: " F. A. P."
Condition: Excellent. The tesserae are very small and well worked, with little to no chipping and no missing pieces.
*Some historical information for this listing is taken from Jean Sorabella's article for the Met Museum.