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19th Century Marble Paperweight

19th Century Marble Paperweight


circa 1840 - 1850

Fine C19th Italian ‘Grand Tour’ souvenir micro-mosaic marble paperweight.
Superbly executed micro-mosaic oval panel depicting the Roman Coliseum or Colosseum (the Flavian Amphitheatre commissioned in AD72 by Emperor Vespasian) and Forum lit by moonlight. The panel showing a perspective viewed from the east, with the fountain of the Meta Sudans to the centre with the Arch of Constantine to the right-hand side. The foreground shows promenading figures or tourists in period costume on the cobbled approach, lit by the moon from the skilfully depicted and shaded clouds of the night sky . The foreground margins with further details of rocks and ruins in verdant countryside. The tesserae are laid in graduated sizes to the foreground and overall design to give excellent depth and perspective.
The oval panel mounted in a cartouche-shaped block of ‘Nero Belgio’ black marble, with shaped outline and a ribbed edge.

Executed in the manner of the Roman workshops of Domenico Moglia (1780-1862), a prominent and esteemed micro-mosaic artist and craftsman of the period.

Micromosaic panels such as this , manufactured from tiny tiles or tesserae of glass or enamel, were produced for sale to wealthy ‘Grand Tourists’ as portable souvenirs of the iconic sites and sights of Rome . The growth of this industry from the late C18th through to the late C19th was chiefly in Rome where many glass-makers workshops adopted the techniques to supply the demand for such works .


In excellent original condition with no losses to the mosaic.
Minor chips or fritting to the edges of the black marble surround.


Height 8.89cm (3.5 inches)

Width 11.43cm (4.5 inches)

Depth 2.54cm (1 inches)

Height Framed 14.00cm (5.51 inches)

Width Framed 18.00cm (7.09 inches)

Depth Framed 2.54cm (1 inches)

Stock No: 11233


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