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Close to Perfection: A Singular Micro Mosaic Bracelet


Georgian, yes; regal, surely; impressive, no doubt. Yet all that pales when you find yourself captivated by what seems to be an oil painting in miniature which should be in a museum. What we are able to offer is a micro mosaic of the highest order rivaled only by a few more exacting ones of plaques set into boxes and housed in public or private art collections.

Micro mosaics are composed of thousands of tiny "tesserae" or tiles made from glass thread, heated and melted until resembling a strand of fine hair, and then cut into tiny segments. These very small tiles are painstakingly hand assembled and placed into a matrix or pattern which actualizes the desired image. The final stage of the process involves waxing and polishing to create the seamless surface finish characteristic to this art form. Each tiny tessera in this micro mosaic measures less than a millimeter, some only a 1/3 of a millimeter resulting in roughly 1,750 tiles in this one rectangle.

The mosaic is set into a black glass-like composition surrounded by a simple bezel and mounted into graceful rococo scrollwork of shell motifs, asymmetrically arranged S-curves and spheres. The metalwork is Pinchbeck, a unique metal alloy rarely used after 1830 which possesses the warmth and look of old gold while maintaining its luster better than other materials. The bracelet itself incorporates six intricate chains of rose-colored Pinch, the surround is yellow gold Pinchbeck and its base and that of the micro mosaic is of rose gold toned Pinch.

The scene depicts a landscape of graceful trees, a tranquil river and its gentle waterfall with river rocks cupping the water’s edge as the background captures what perhaps is a ruined aqueduct or a bridge in disrepair, long forgotten. The range of the colors used is quite remarkable. Such is the extraordinary realism of a micro mosaic that when viewed from any distance, appears to be painted with oils or enamels; you must come up very close to notice that this curious art form is an assemblage of tiny dots of glass. Grand in scale without overstating its impact.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 6-7/8 inches (17.5 cm) in total length. Micro mosaic including mounting is 2-1/8 inches (5.4 cm) in height 1-3/4 inches (4.4 cm) in width. Micro mosaic itself is 1-1/8 inches (2.8 cm) by 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Condition: Excellent; an area of about 1 mm has three tesserae slightly pushed in.

Date: Circa 1820 - 1830

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