This exquisite antique 1.75" by 1.5" Italian architectural micro mosaic brooch depicts 1st century B.C. mausoleum of Roman noblewoman Caecilia Metella, located just outside Rome on the Via Appia. The piece features the ruin of a round tower surrounded by greenery and set against a rosy dawn or dusk sky. There are additional structures visible on either side of the ruin as well as another building located a short distance away. The artist has employed a great deal of skill in the composition of the piece, creating subtle variations in color which suggest texture. The detail is quite fine and cause the piece to resemble a painted image when viewed from a distance.
The oval micro mosaic has been set into a rectangular piece of black glass with beveled edges, both of which are housed within a gold tone metal frame. The riveted pin and safety catch found on the back have been soldered directly to the frame of the brooch.
The brooch is in very good antique condition and does not have any missing tesserae. The black glass portion of the piece has no cracks or repairs, and is securely set within its metal frame. That said, it should be noted that the brooch shows minor signs of age related wear including slight chipping/abrasions to the edges and face of the black glass and some discoloration to the brooch's metal frame. The clasp on the back is fully functional and closes securely. The brooch is 1.75" by 1.5" and is just under .5" deep as measured from the back of the clasp to the face of the piece.
Many travelers assembled large collections of art during their Grand Tours which were shipped back to their respective countries and used to decorate their homes. Smaller pieces were also purchased as personal mementos or gifts for family and friends. Architectural micro mosaics such as this brooch were particularly sought after as they provided an opportunity for travelers to display and/or share wearable images of the places they had visited whilst abroad.
This lovely antique brooch displays beautifully and would be a wonderful addition to a collection of architectural micro mosaic fine jewelry. A great antique find!
Vintage Italian Architectural Micro Mosaic Brooch - Tomb of Caecilia Metella