Antique Italian Grand Tour Jewelry Casket, Box, Micro mosaic, Kiln-fired Enamel, Micromosaic
The Grand Tour traveler, upon seeing the splendors of ancient Roman civilization throughout Italy, hungered to take back something as a memento, and thus the 'tourist' trades began to flourish. This beautiful early 1800s casket, enameled in a fine palette against the high gold-finish metal, and set with a masterpiece plaque worked in tiny bits of colored glass (tesserae) into a basin of onyx, or black marble. The combination of these Italian arts survive today as they did then, to thrill the eye of the beholder. An excellent micromosaic of the Doves of Pliny, the tesserae are sand-sized in this one and it's the quality we see from the Vatican studios. The interior would surely have originally had a gold embossed signature, but that early interior has been replaced at some point in time with another silk satin fabric lining, as shown in our images, so we no longer know the mosaicist. Still, those linings are often in such tattered state, the new lining is pleasant and ready to use if you intend it. For display, it is immaculate, not a nip or flaw in the mosaic.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. There are no nips, chips, cracks, hairlines or lifts to the fine micro mosaic, nor to the black marble or onyx basin into which the doves and fountain have been worked. The casket is exceptional. Interior silk lining is a replacement.