Antique Empire Grand Tour 18k Gold Micro Mosaic Archaeological Necklace 1810

By antiques-art-design

An early 19th Century Grand Tour 18k yellow gold and micromosaic archaeological necklace - a rare necklace comprised of 10 larger oval panels of dark red jasper set with fine micro mosaic images of various Roman ruins interspersed with 10 smaller jasper plaques with motifs of birds butterflies and baskets of flowers - all the panels are set in fine threaded and twisted wire mounts and with millgrained wire inserts finished with an integrated box clasp - painstakingly created images such as these were part of the impetus of the  essential nature of the Grand Tour; education was based in the classics and as a result, your education was not considered complete until you had witnessed in person the wonders of the Ancient world, and souvenirs such as this helped to advertise them - this is a particularly fine example and would have been commissioned for someone of considerable wealth as the design is not separated by chain sections, as is often seen, which allowed fewer panels to be purchased - the illustrations themselves help to date this piece as it shows two older views of the Temple of Vesta (now known as the temple of Hercules Victor) which was restored in 1809-1810 and a view of the temple of Minerva Medica (as it was then known - it has since been reclassified as a Nymphaeum) with dome intact (this collapsed in 1828) - other sites shown are the Pyramid of Cestius to the clasp, the tomb of Caecilia Metella, the Tempio di Venere, the Curia Julia and various views of other ruins probably along the Appian way and on the Palantine Hill - Unmarked - total weight 44.7grms - overall dimensions - wearable length 413mm - overall dimensions of plaques including mounts - largest 28 x 23mm - smallest 11 x 9mm - c.1810 Italy Condition notes : all plaques are intact without cracks, some small scratches, nibbles, and chips to the edges of the jasper mounts and one chip to the back of the larger plaque nearest the tongue of the clasp (as shown), and mentioned only for accuracy as none of these are things that would detract from what is a Museum quality necklace.
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