Micro-mosaics are a delicate form of mosaic glass design dating back to pre-Roman times. Tiny bits of variously colored glass (called tesserae) are arranged to depict scenes or symbols in visually pleasing designs. These were used in jewelry, picture frames and other small trinkets to sell to tourists as well as for personal keepsakes. Most of the micromosaic pieces were acquired while one was on his or her Grand Tour.
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.
This large gold filled brooch has four warm gold glass stones with bright coppery flecks as the base (often referred to as goldstone), and intricate floral designs made of tiny tiles (called tesserea) set into each one. The ribbon like metal work wends around the four stones while also twisting, making the floral designs appear to be suspended in air. A lovely statement piece, with a burnished glow against bright blossoms. It will make you feel like you are basking in the warm Tuscan sun of northern Italy!
Dimensions: 63mm x 35mm
Weight: 12.9 grams
Materials: Gold filled metal, gold glass, glass mosaic tiles
Condition: Excellent antique condition