Victorian Micro Mosaic Earrings & Pendant
Italy has been and continues to be at the top of the art of micro mosaics. Often costing in the range of thousands and ten thousands of dollars, value of such objects is assessed employing several factors: size of the tiles, condition, fineness of the tesserae (tiles) and subject matter. Most highly sought after are typical motifs which might include the doves of Pliny, Italian piazzas, the Coliseum or similar buildings and floral designs.
This Victorian demi parure of earrings and pendant displays the highest standard and quality of micro mosaic jewelry. Fabricated from 18k yellow gold, this fine set of earrings and matching pendant possesses a winning combination of all four of the cardinal signs. The set shows the most magnificent gold smithing work and detail with tesserae so minute that the “jigsaw puzzle” images look like actual paintings all in superb condition.
The subject matter is that of women. The pendant features a woman draped in ancient classical robes with uplifted arms carrying a bowl of fruit against a background of terrain and sky. Archaeological revival details embellish the pendant with additional images of flowers and a scarab beetle drop. To the reverse is a locket compartment with hinged cover inscribed in raised capital lettering ROMA and surrounded with masterful patterning and designs.
The earrings are made to be specifically left and right. Both spotlight women. One has a laurel wreath upon her head and is transporting a branch of grapes. The other carries a bundle upon her shoulder. Embellished with scarab beetles surmounts which match the pendant, each earring sports polychromatic decorative borders and suspends a trio of teardrops. Screw type ear fittings attach to the surmount.
Date: Circa 1850 – 1860.
Measurements: Pendant is 2-3/8 inches (6.0 cm) in length by 1-3/8 of an inch (3.5 cm) in width. Weight of 27.3 grams (17.6 dwt).
Earrings: 2-1/2 inches (6.3 cm) in length including ear wire by 1-3/8 inches (2.2 cm)in width. Weight of 16.6 grams (10.7 dwt) for the pair.
Hallmarks: Illegible European hallmarks, presumed Italian.
Condition: Excellent overall and very fine; Pendant: center plaque has one minute area of loss at the lower left in the olive green area; Earring 1 with woman facing right: Some sunken tiles above the head of the top mount beetle; one white tile missing in the white background of the center plaque; one turquoise tile in the border of the center plaque. Earrings 2: One of two turquoise tiles missing to the middle top of the drop.
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