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Victorian Italian Micro Mosaic Bird Earrings


Micro mosaics had a rebirth or renaissance of popularity in the mid to later 19th century. Victorians were once again traveling the Continent and found Italy to be particularly appealing. It is here in the land of the Romans that they became exposed to the art of the micro mosaic.

A micro mosaic utilizes unusually small colored glass tiles called tesserae are hand assembled to fashion extraordinarily complex and detailed patterns or images. This form is known as the Roman technique.

Here two birds in opposing stances are perched upon a patch of green and brown earth. In all, approximately one hundred tiny tesserae of varying colors have been used to create these detailed examples of two avian species. Set against backgrounds of black glass, these tiny treasures of the sky fit into a space smaller than that of the eraser of a pencil.

Appropriate to the era, 14k yellow gold twisted wire borders of varying diameters embellish the micro mosaics. In addition, later date 14k yellow gold ear wires have been added.

Date: Circa 1870.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 3/4 inches (1.9 cm) in length including ear wire by 1/2 of an inch (1.2 cm) in width. Weight of 2.8 grams (1.7 dwt) for the pair.

Condition: Excellent. Later ear wires added.

Origin: Italian for the mosaics.

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