Antique mini micro mosaic box with detailed scene atop of the brass alloy box which is lined in silk. The depiction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome with Bernini's stunning colonnade and the beautiful fountains on the square. It is wonderfully detailed as the tiles are so tiny it is even hard to measure one! You see the other buildings of the Vatican in the back ground, and red-gowned cardinals walking toward the obelisk, as well as others walking the Vatican in Roma, Italy. This is where the Pope usually resides. But I don't think the newly elected Pope Francis has chosen to live here but in a resident close to St. Peter's Square.
A rare signed micro mosaic work by Vatican Mosaic Workshop artist, Cesare Roccheggiani with the official stamps impressed onto the elegant burgundy silk. The magnificent enameled Italian oval casket is from mid-Victorian Grand Tour times. Cesare Roccheggiani's works date between 1856-64 at the Vatican workshops, or 'Manufattura Vaticana'. His works are among those on display in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London as part of the collection of Sir Gilbert. (This according to Antiques and Uncommon Treasures).
The scene is so detailed it looks like a photograph. Thousands of tiny tesserae so well placed inside the black marble surrounding the scene. It must have taken weeks to make one of these tesserae scenes. Truly a piece of art from the Grand Tour. The box is 4 1/4" wide by 3 1/4" deep and 2 1/4" tall. The scene done in the micro mosaic tesserae is 2 5/8" X 1 7/8". This doesn't include the black amble which surrounds the tiled scene. The black contrast of the marble really pops out the picture scene of softer colors.
This is the largest scene of tiny micro mosaic on a box (Casket) I have ever, personally, seen. Truly incredible and not one tile is missing. It is in outstanding condition, with even the lovely silk still in great shape on the inside, with the lower part of the casket padded under the silk.
The box is a gold metal alloy of brass or bronze with cloisonne style enameled flowers all around the antique casket. The enamel is in excellent condition as well.
A product of the early 1800s Grand Tour, this would have been a treasure memento of someones visit to Italy. Circa This work with the tiniest of tiles is not done anymore and was only done for a short period of time in Italy from 1830-1870. Probably because they went blind doing it!!
The hinge works well and the box has no issues, but the smallest amount of patina . The box is absolutely fantastic and so rare to find this quality. A true piece of antique art. A thrill to find.