Italian Micromosaic Box

  • This incredible Grand Tour box is adorned with intricate micromosaic plaques
  • Each side panel depicts a different flower, while the top panel has a collection of miniature scenes
  • The panels are mounted in richly decorated ormolu bronze
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-2846

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Crafted from thousands of tesserae — tiny pieces of glass, stone and tile — this 19th-century Italian box epitomizes the delicate artistry of these luxury pieces. Each piece of tesserae has been painstakingly matched for color, size and placement in order to create intricate images set into the top and sides of the box. The side panels each depict a different flower set against a black ground to dramatic effect, while the top features a collection of miniature scenes including the landmarks of Rome and a centaur clashing with a goat. The panels are mounted in chased and repousséd gilt bronze covered in scrollwork and foliate flourishes.

Micromosaics enjoyed great popularity among the ancient Romans, who decorated their homes with massive mosaic pieces. The art of the micromosaic re-emerged during the 19th century, most notably in the workshops of the Vatican, finding favor among the surge of affluent tourists making their requisite Grand Tour across Europe. Avid collectors of these incredible works included Napoléon and Josephine, Russian czars and ancestors of the legendary de Medici family.

Circa 1870

13 1/4" wide x 8 1/2" deep x 7 1/2" high
Italian Micromosaic Box
Period: 19th Century
Origin: Italy
Type: Decorative Boxes
Depth: 8.5 Inches
Width: 13.25 Inches
Height: 7.5 Inches

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