I love these old souvenir frames hand crafted in Italy during the Grand Tour era, as late as perhaps Edwardian (c. 1910) for some, but often earlier. I love them clustered in a group and filled with photos of our trips to Italy, and of our family members. We have a wonderful selection of them at this time, from extra large to petit. The one you see offered here is a fine late 1800s one with scalloped outer form and some of the beautiful old 3-D raised florals built into the overall design. Each of these small tesserae are hand formed bits of glass - actually formed into long thin strands and broken to fit the spaces. The finest older ones are sand-sized tesserae filed smooth as silk on top surface and used in plaques made into jewelry and paperweights with Roman scenes the earlier Victorian travelers loved to take home. Many were done in the Vatican workshops, and prices can go into the many thousands. These frames are simpler, true enough, but works of art that speak of an earlier era, when photography was just beginning to spread internationally. This is the frame for a hand mirror originally, but the old silver backing has been stripped and it is now a frame for a photo. You can display it hanging on a wall with very slight modification (add a hook on back) or lying on your tabletop alongside your easel frames in micromosaic - very cool! This 10" long beauty dates to late 1800s. It has survived well and misses none of its colored glass tesserae. I see nothing to make me think it's been restored either. There is real artistry in setting these in place, as anyone who has tried restoration knows. A wonderful item to collect, this particular one is likely from the glass workers around Florence or perhaps Venice, where floral themes were more prevalent. Isn't it a fabulous one!
Very good to excellent for age and type. The tesserae are all present, of varying colors and shapes, and incorporates the layered and shaped tesserae that mimic floral petals and centers. Glass is in place to cover your choice of photos. A delightful size and a great souvenir of your own trip to Italy. But buy it from us rather than from the dealers in Italy who, having bought from us, mark our prices up double and more in anticipation of your visit. ; )
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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