18th Century Micro Mosaic brooch of a Bird and a Bee, circa 1795-1825.
Late 18th Century to early 19th century Micro Mosaic brooch depicting a bird on a branch eyeing an approaching bee. The mosaic is in fine condition and sits within a gold frame. The pinstem and clasp has been updated and replaced.
A micro-mosaic is a picture or pattern produced by arranging together small colored pieces called tesserae. These were different types of hard stones, tile or glass.
This delightful scene is surrounded by two ornate micro mosaic borders - one of lighter and larger tesserae, the inner of darker and smaller tesserae creating a subtle feeling of depth.
This is an very early example of a micro-mosaic because the scene is unusual (later examples tended toward landscapes and architecture), also the ornate borders, as well as the size of the tesserae (being a bit larger than later examples) all date this piece to the turn of the 18th to 19th century.
Micro-mosaics as a jewelry art form did not exist before approximately 1775. The use of colored glass and colored hard stone tesserae as the constituent parts of this artistry was basically an adjunct to the decoration of architectural elements as for example in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome which has 10,000 square meters of micro-mosaic.
The same artists that filled the orders of architects were the first to develop, around 1800, miniature versions that required less time and for which these artists could charge more because, at this time, Rome became a living laboratory of classic treasures and attracted people who were not only part of the fine things trade, but also tourists. The experience was called the Grand Tour, and some of this more portable work was exceptional quality.
Today, a preponderance of jewelry is machine made in large factories around the world with abundant and obvious suspicions as to its enduring qualities using not only inferior stones, but also man made stones and treated stones utilizing artificial substances.
Alternatively, this very early micro mosaic in fine condition, is a wonderful antique piece, rarely encountered.
All items sold are accompanied by a detailed Statement of Value by our gemologist, as well as all original gemological documentation, if specified in the listing. As always, we guarantee all pieces to be exactly as represented. Each piece of jewelry arrives in a gift-wrapped fine presentation box.
Over the decades of our stewardship as a small but exemplary purveyor of the jeweler's art, we have strived to offer a fine and authentic selection, in excellent condition, of collectible jewels from all highly sought time periods at competitive prices. In the process, we have had the extraordinary good fortune of meeting remarkable people - some collectors, others just extremely interesting individuals who have taken the time and effort to examine their lives and select things that tend to make them smile, or admire, or just wonder at the exciting endlessly creative and nuanced panoply of jeweled artifacts.