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Micromosaic Doves of Pliny Brooch

Micromosaic Doves of Pliny Brooch

Regular price $495.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $495.00 USD
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An antique brooch which pairs lustrous yellow gold and a sweet micromosaic portrait of four doves drinking from a chalice. This iconic image, known as Pliny’s Doves or the Capitoline Doves, has been depicted in artistic mosaics going back millennia, first described by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History (circa 77 AD!) The most well-known instance of this mosaic was discovered in the 1700s in Italy at Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli. “Micromosaic" style refers to a jewelry technique in which small pieces of glass, called tesserae, are artfully arranged into images. 

While micromosaic jewelry likely originated in ancient times in the Far East, it was popularized during the Victorian era as souvenir jewelry from "The Grand Tour" of Italy. This brooch likely dates from the 1860s to 1880s and might have been a sweet souvenir gift from Italy. The blue frame surrounding the petite doves is evocative of lapis lazuli but is in fact glass. The setting tests at 18k and features a pictographic hallmark that is a bit worn but could possibly be a French eagle’s head. Fastens with c-clasp. This brooch has amazing detail, especially for its very petite size - it is just under an inch tall. It is in excellent condition. There is one tiny fleabite in the glass adjacent to the doves in the lower right of the picture - this is likely a bit of wear that occurred when the piece was assembled.

More details:

18.5mm long, 22.6mm wide

Excellent condition

18k (tested)

4.2 grams

All purchases arrive in a gift box, wrapped with a ribbon.

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