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.
The term "micro mosaic" was coined by wealthy 20th-century collector Sir Arthur Gilbert in reference to Roman mosaics composed of little glass bricks called tessarae. These were sold as fine jewelry to Victorian ladies in the early and mid-19th century, when the tourism trade was at a peak in Rome.
Having a fine micro mosaic Grand Tour piece is very fashionable even in today's antique jewelry world and it is a lasting testament to the fine work created by Italian artisans of the Victorian era, celebrating the glory that was once the Roman empire.
Beautifully crafted in 18 karat yellow gold in the Etruscan Revival style, this brooch's mosaic is a white dove on a blue background with an olive branch in its beak, a symbol of peace. Surrounding the dove is a ring of boules and a mosaic border with a red and white floral motif. The outer ring has a subtle border of green tiles. Three large boule drops dangle from the bottom, creating movement when worn. A fabulous piece any antique jewelry collector will adore!
Dimensions: 1" diameter; 1 1/4" overall length
Weight: 11.2 grams
Materials: Gold, Tessarae
Metal: 18 K yellow gold
Marks: Hallmark on reverse
Condition: Excellent Antique condition commensurate with age and wear