Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Micro Mosaics


l usually try to keep blog life separate from the news of the world, as l suspect that many people, like myself, use it as a bit of an escape from reality, but sometimes events just can't be ignored and the widespread floods in recent weeks are a prime example.
It's been another difficult week for many people and now the rain has passed they have to go back and assess the damage, and try to put their lives back together. Especially for those who have lost family, friends and beloved pets, their lives are altered forever.
Here's hoping that caring thoughts, constructive community action, and monetary aid relief , allow all those affected (and there are many) some much needed hope and positivity as they move forward in difficult times.

This week l wanted to bring you a story that began many hundreds of years ago when a studio was setup in the 1500's in the Vatican to produce mosaic replicas of altar pieces that were becoming damaged in St. Peters' Basilica. These became popular as momentoes for tourists and so began the story of commercial Micro Mosaics.
Micro Mosaic is when small pieces of either glass, or enamel are arranged in such a way that they represent a figurative image. Very early examples were produced as religious icons, or set into panels on furniture and later as pieces of jewellery. They reached their peak of popularity between 1820 and 1850. Early examples of jewellery are very rare and expensive. Those that are found now are generally early to mid 20th century pieces, and below are some of these.

Shown below are some mid 20th century pill boxes, a bracelet that l suspect may be 1930's and a necklace that is also probably 50's. The bracelet and one of the pill boxes were picked up quite recently so still can be found and bought for a song.

Pieces are often dated according to the mount or frame they are worked into, as well as hallmarks on later pieces. It is believed that the backs of gold Victorian brooches are flat and the 20th century ones are generally rounded. If buying an item be sure to check if all the pieces are intact, as it is almost impossible to replace missing parts.

Here are also shown some examples of vintage petit point needlework, including earrings and small perfume bottle which interestingly came with a tiny funnel.

Below l have shown some pics of Patti Silvermans truly beautiful home.See more here.

Her house definitely has the wow factor.

Photographer: Ellen McDermott.



  1. Your knowledge of antiques and your skill at being able to recognise and collect these treasures is quite remarkable - an art in itself. Thankyou for always sharing your beautiful things. Your blog brightens my day.

  2. ohhh love those shoots.. every single one is beautiful!!! allready pinned some ;D