We've heard from one of our Italian customers that the ruin depicted here is Cecilia Metella's tomb in Rome. We'll defer to her 'local' knowledge. Sad to see it with a cracked surround, I know, but it's such a stunning old one with the addition of 8 old mine cut faceted rubies, I simply could not pass it up. And in spite of the cracked celeste-blue surround, the mosaic is of finest quality, intact but for just a single red/white border tesserae out of place. All the grout is fully intact as well, seems to be well stabilized and is certainly worth display as it is, or well worth restoration on one this old and fine. A fine piece, and in interesting presentation for display though I would not advise wearing this one.
Very good to excellent condition on the very old Victorian 18k gold and ruby brooch itself, apart from the obvious damage to the very very old 1830-1860 sand-sized tesserae micromosaic, which has lost no tesserae, but has damage that has been stablized many years ago and still holds firm. It's such a rare old one, it still has substantial value.