Rare antique Italian micromosaic ring and earrings framed in 15 karat yellow gold from the Victorian Etruscan Revival era. The pieces display splendid birds of paradise in graceful flight against a black background scattered with millefiori flowers and leaves. The work is superb quality. The glass tesserae are beautifully fine with the forms of the birds raised above the background. The colors of the feathers are soft blues pinks with wonderful gold wings and tail feathers crafted using Filati, a prestigious, antique technique using fine glass filaments or threads. The detail of the bird forms is remarkable and fresh ~ quite wonderful.
The Etruscan Revival style frames to the pieces are also remarkable. Each of the pieces are rectangular with very fine barley twist goldwork on three sides and a fluted, beaded crowned detail to one side. The tops of the earrings are a half moon shape which is hinged allowing free and natural movement. The earrings have had gold 14 karat ~ marked 585 ~ post fittings added. These are quite ornate and antique in appearance, but would not have been original to the pieces. The reverse of the earrings and ring are covered to protect the micro mosaic plaques. Unmarked, the gold tests as at least 15 carat.
These extraordinary circa 1860s pieces are in exceptional condition with minimal visible losses to the tessarae or the black backgrounds. The ring band is strong with no thinning; the earrings are quite secure and perfect. There is a deep even patina on all the gold work which I have not cleaned.
Dimensions of the pieces are: the ring micromosaic plaque is 11/16 inch long by 1/2 inch wide, by 1/4 inch thick; including the frame the face of the ring is a fraction under 1 inch long. Size is US 5.5 and it weighs 7.5 grams. The earring plaques are each 1/2 inch long by 5/16 inch wide, and 5/16 inch thick and they drop 15/16 inch from the ear. They weigh 7.4 grams.
Simply a stunning example of early Victorian Italian micromosaic jewelry, these pieces are truly splendid. And a very rare find ~ such a charming delicately rendered micromosaic motif and framed in high-karat gold. A gorgeous and rare set.
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