Vintage Italian Moisaic Jewelry
Vintage Italian Moisaic Jewelry Italian mosaic jewellery is a style of jewellery constructed from small pieces of stone like lapis lazuli, malachite, coral and opal expertly arranged into a black marble background.
History & Description
Mosaic jewelry was popularised in the nineteenth century following the archaeological discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum. This style of jewelry is often termed “Archaeological Jewelry”.
Mosaic jewelry that was made in Florence is often referred to as pietra dura and was popular in England between 1820 and 1860. Mosaic jewelry designs were primarily floral and were so intricate that they were essentially miniature works of art.
In addition, Roman or Byzantine inspired mosaic jewelry featured detailed flowers, landscapes and classical temples constructed from tiny pieces of cut, coloured glass.
Guide for collectors
Vintage mosaic jewelry was also made in England during the nineteenth century but was not as elaborate or decorative as the Italian mosaics. As a result, English examples are not as desirable or valuable to collectors.
The most sought after and expensive examples of Italian mosaic jewelry were mounted in solid gold frames, although sometimes sterling silver or pinchbeck was also used.
Vintage Italian mosaic jewelry is offered by both national and international auction houses. As a general prices tend to range between $100 and $300 for both individual and group lots.
Notable auction sales
On May 17th 2007 at Sotheby’s in Geneva, Switzerland, an Egyptian-Revival gold and micro mosaic pendant and pair of ear pendants, made in Italy, circa 1860s, realised a price of CHF15,000.
On June 7th 2006 at Sotheby’s in New York, a gold and micro mosaic brooch, made in Italy, circa 1870, realised a price of $5,400.
On March 15th 2006 at Bonhams in London, a suite of Italian micro mosaic jewelry, comprising of a brooch and a pair of ear pendants, realised a price of £3,200.
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