Well, as I write this, I'm about to pack to spend time in one of my favorite cities on earth: Rome, Italy. There's nothing like waking up and opening your hotel shades to the view of the Pantheon (which we will do soon, and which was my first ever morning view of Rome). Imagine what it must have been like when that building was built, almost 2000 years ago. It holds title as the Roman ruin in use the longest of any, and remains in use today. Raphael's tomb is within. Think of the life that has gone on in and around that magical building, and the other ruins of the old center of Rome, the Forum. Chariots, the Coliseum filled with events of grand magnitude and also great debauchery. The Roman baths, the Temples to the Gods - all of it is a wonderland of history playing itself out in this city that dates back to 753 BC! All of it under your feet as you walk the cobblestones. No city rivals it for sheer historical value, I think. And so then imagine you are on your first Grand Tour among other Victorian era travelers, and your horse-drawn carriage takes you along these streets. The smells, the vendors, the ruins and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church enveloped within city walls of old. The Vatican! The Vatican's workshops produced fabulous micromosaic arts for those tourists - goods in that era that remain today some of our favorites to acquire, collect, pass along to our customers. This stunning bracelet would have been one of those Grand Tour traveler's souvenir. Having picked out 6 plaques from the vendors, probably between 1840-60 for these lovely old ones, the owner might either have commissioned the 14k gold mounting done right there by goldsmiths in Rome, or may well have taken the plaques back home to their goldsmith for that part of the process. The bracelet is still with the original box, so has definitely been a well-protected treasure and heirloom. The recess of the fitted box perfectly fits this one bracelet. All these 170 or so years, this one has been treasured. So if you intend your own Grand Tour, or wish to commemorate one you've been on already, this is your best choice. Yes, we do have a great selection in finest old micromosaic goods - in fact, I'll be hand carrying numerous ones to their next owners in Italy, where I'm sure they'll end up in the antiques and jewelry shops for double our prices - I know this because each time I go, I see our micromosaics. You know the shops, perhaps? Buy here, wear there - enjoy the entire trip on your savings! ; )
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The bracelet is instantly wearable, without any breaks in the chain or the 14k gold mounts, though some areas look like they've had some pushes - perhaps in the original setting if it was done in Italy, that would make sense as they tried to beat time in getting this one made for the owner who picked these 6 plaques. The bracelet is 6.9" long, (175mm) wearable length, so will fit most wrists today. Some of these early ones are quite small and not useful for any but those with a very tiny wrist. The 6 plaques are in fine condition without any cracks, no breaks, no chips of size (perhaps the odd tiny nibble at the bevel, which is very common) and no raised or lost tesserae. Imagine - all these years, resting in its original box and waiting just for you. Even the box is quite fine, with very little loss to the old silk nap velvet covering, no damage to the silk satin interior. A wonderful gift!
Item ID: 1012mmbrclt
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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