Monday, 7 November 2011

Italian micromosaic jewellery (Souvenirs from the Grand Tour!)

After Napoleon was defeated (1814), the English started to travel to Europe again.   Italy was a particular favourite and many folk brought back jewellery as souvenirs.  Sometimes these items were unmounted and were 'framed' when they returned home.  Cameos and micromosaics were popular and, just like today in Florence and Rome, there were a number of shops and street sellers. Rome specialized in micromosaics.

To make a micromosaic, thin glass pieces (rods or tesserae) were cut and placed using small tweezers.  These were then 'cemented' into place, the gaps filled with wax, and then they were polished.