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Antique Italianate Micromosaic Round Ormolu Pill Box The Pliny's Doves 19th C

Antique Italianate Micromosaic Round Ormolu Pill Box The Pliny Sold
Ref: 09447
Price: £ 0.00
This is an exquisite antique Italianate ormolu pill box with two micromosaic plaques, dating from the late 19th Century.

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This is an exquisite antique Italianate ormolu pill box with two micromosaic plaques, dating from the late 19th Century.

The box is hinged and round in shape. The top of the box is decorated with a charming
 centred and raised micromosaic of Pliny's Doves - the popular image which appears frequently as the subject of micromosaics and  features four doves drinking from a vessel of water.

The underside of the box
 is decorated with a beautiful micromosaic of a gull against a blue background.

This is a lovely piece which apart from its functionality is also highly decorative. 


Condition:

In excellent condition. Please see photos for confirmation.



Dimensions in cm:

Height 1 x Width 3 x Depth 3

Dimensions in inches:

Height 0 inches x Width 1 inch x Depth 1 inch

Our reference: 09447

Micromosaics
From the Renaissance they began to be made in Italy, reaching the height of their popularity in the mid 19th century, when Rome was the centre of production; there was a Vatican Mosaic Studio from 1576, set up to create mosaic replicas of the altarpieces in St Peter's Basilica, which were being damaged by the humid conditions of the vast and crowded interior. They were popular purchases by visitors on the Grand Tour, easily portable, and often taken home to set into an object there. Typical scenes were landscapes of Roman views, rarely of any artistic originality, and the micromosaics were small panels used to inset into furniture or onto snuffboxes and similar objects, or for jewellery.
Religious subjects were copied from paintings. The very smallest mosaic pieces come from works from the period between the late 18th century and the end of the 19th. Fortunato Pio Castellani (1794–1865) expanded the range of subjects in his work in the "archeological style", copying Roman and Early Christian wall-mosaics.
A distinctive feature of micromosaics is that the tesserae are usually oblong rather than square.The best work can achieve 3,000 to 5,000 tesserae per square inch. The best collections are in the Hermitage Museum and the Gilbert Collection in London.

The Doves of Pliny
Sosus of Pergamon was a Greek mosais artist of the second century BC. He is the only mosaic artist whose name was recorded in literature. After the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Greeks of major centers such as Pergamon and  Alexandria displayed their wealth in decorations that included mosaics. 
One of the most famous works of Sosus includes a mosaic from Hadrian's Villa, now in the Capitoline Museums, which depicts a group of doves on a round bowl. As described by Pliny, one dove is drinking while the others are sunning themselves. The Doves of Pliny, or the Capitoline Doves depicts the doves artistically but realistically. The mosaic is made only of cubes of colored marble, without any colored glass as in other mosaics. It was discovered in 1737 during excavations at Hadrian's Villa led by Cardinal Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, who thought it was the mosaic that Pliny had described, although other scholars think it is a copy of the original that was made for Hadrian. The Hadrian's villa mosaic has in turn been copied many times in many formats.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 1 x Width 3 x Depth 3

Dimensions in inches:

Height 0 inches x Width 1 inch x Depth 1 inch

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