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Antique Mid-1800s Italian Pietra Dura Marble Mosaic Frame, 13" x 10"
An exceptionally fine mid-1800s Italian work of art in marble marquetry or mosaic, each petal chosen for the shading to give a 3-D look to the roses and leaves. The artistry of these old ones is amazing, museum quality. The extra large size of this one sets it apart. I thought it initially to be a frame for a carte de visite photo, (dates 1850-70) but the aperture is slightly larger so if that were the case, it would have needed a mat. It might have had a crisp-cut brass mat to begin with. The aperture measures 5" x 3", and there is not at this listing time a hanging loop on back. There is some evidence a replacement backing has been made for this beautiful old frame. The old original probably had an easel stand, but these are very heavy frames. One this size would require a metal easel stand, and is probably best used as a hanging frame with insertion of a decorative hanging loop up top, or a hanging wire mount on back attached to the existing screws you see - either would be a very simple adaptation, but we will leave decision on which way to go to the next owner. Meanwhile, we have it leaning against the mantel's backing, showing it off with our other pietra dura items.
Very good to excellent condition, not a chip or hairline to disclose. No breaks. The backing appears to have been professionally redone and it shows beautifully. You'll either need an easel to display this one, or need to add a hanging loop up top or a wire to the back to hang it on wall. Otherwise, nothing at all to stop you from using it immediately - cover glass is in place, and it's in superb condition, as noted. Outer wooden frame is excellent, as well. Heavy marble plaque, these are about half an inch in thickness, very heavy. The fact that this one was never broken is a bit astonishing, particularly with the aperture cut-out as it is. The work on the flowers and leaves is exceptionally fine. You'd find this one in a shop along the Arno in Florence, near the Ponte Vecchio, in a small shop there that deals in the old ones, and it would be more than double our price. Buy from us (like they do) and use the extra money on your own trip to Florence.
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San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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