I am proud to offer you an Italian 19th c. micro-mosaic plaque from the European Grand Tour. The five mosaic roundels depict various places and structures which would be visited while on the Grand Tour. The roundels are inlaid into a piece of thick slate for both protection and vivid contrast. The structures depicted are as follows : Center - St. Peter's Square ; Upper Left - The Pantheon ; Lower Left - The Temple of Vesta ; Upper Right - The Colosseum ; Lower Right - The Roman Forum.
Condition : The only issues to mention are various nicks and small chips along the outer edges of the slate, the largest of which I have photographed. The roundels themselves are mint.
Size : 6 3/8" (16.19cm) wide ~~ 4 5/8" (11.75cm) tall ~~ 7/8" (2.22cm) thick. Center roundel is 2 1/8" (5.40cm) by 1 5/8" (4.13cm) while the others are 1 3/8" (3.49cm) by 1 1/16" (2.70cm).
History : A tour of Europe's ancient ruins and cultural places was part of a young man's right of passage into the aristocracy. From the mid 17th c. to the mid 19th c., the only way to experience these culturally significant places was to travel to them and see them in person. Travel was extremely expensive then, and thus, was limited to families of means. Souvenirs of this trip were offered along the way as a remembrance of this unique and special journey.
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