Please don't steal our images, yeah?

What is this?

Suite of jewelry with gold filigree mounts around micromosaic oval scenes of Rome in cobalt blue borders; comprising a necklace centered by a view of St Peter's, with various ruins, and the Colisseum, and Pantheon; a pair of gold bracelets each with one arch view, a pair of earrings, and a pair of brooches.

This object is full of stories

Unique micro-mosaic parures (suites of jewelry) were a popular souvenir among tourists traveling to Italy on the Grand Tour. These delicate baubles captured the bella vistas of Italy’s most famous sites. Designed for women, a parure traditionally consisted of a necklace with matching bracelets, earrings and a brooch or pin, although some also included accessories such as hair ornaments and tiaras.
The process of making micro-mosaic jewelry was extremely labor intensive, precise work. A craftsman would use tweezers to patiently arrange hundreds of colored tesserae, small pieces of glass or stone, on a pane of glass. The finest work can achieve up to 5,000 tesserae per square inch. Any gaps were filled with a colored wax and the piece was then carefully polished. It is estimated that there were between 150 to 200 workshops in Rome creating micro-mosaics by the middle of the nineteenth century.
The tesserae in this parure were mounted on gold filigree and ringed with a rich cobalt blue border. Its mosaics feature Italy’s famed ancient ruins, architecture, and pastoral scenes, including the Pantheon, the Coliseum, the Temple of Vesta, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

This is a suite of micro-mosaic jewelry from Italy. It is dated 1800–25 and we acquired it in 1991. Gift of Frederick Saal in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Saal.

Its medium is

gold, glass mosaics

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (necklace, on flat surface): 0.4 x 45.5 x 2.8 cm (3/16 x 17 15/16 x 1 1/8 in.) H x W x D (bracelet): 0.4 x 2.3 x 18.9 cm (3/16 x 7/8 x 7 7/16 in.) H x W x D (bracelet): 0.4 x 2.4 x 18.3 cm (3/16 x 15/16 x 7 3/16 in.) H x W x D (earrings): 1 x 1.2 x 3.5 cm (3/8 x 1/2 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (earrings): 1 x 1.2 x 3.5 cm (3/8 x 1/2 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (brooch): 0.9 x 3.1 x 2.3 cm (3/8 x 1 1/4 x 7/8 in.) H x W x D (brooch): 0.9 x 3.2 x 2.3 cm (3/8 x 1 1/4 x 7/8 in.) H x W x D (pendant): 0.3 x 2 x 1.5 cm (1/8 x 13/16 x 9/16 in.)

This object was donated by Frederick Saal

This object is the first item in a set that contains 8 objects.

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18702925 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18702925/ |title=Suite Of Micro-mosaic Jewelry, 1800–25 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 December 2014 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

If you would like to tell us more about an object or have found an error in an object record, please fill out this form. Objects that are slated to be on display when the museum re-opens in 2014 are being given priority but all corrections are welcomed!