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  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    1815-1825 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Micromosaic, glass and gold.

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.147:1, 2-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 6, shelf 6 []

Figures dressed in regional folk costume were a popular subject for micromosaics. Many were based on engravings by Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781-1835) which had been published in Rome in 1816. It was a subject that was of interest to the traveller as he crossed Europe, and comparable jewels were available in Switzerland illustrating Swiss costumes in finely-painted enamel.

The term 'micromosaic' is used to describe mosaics made of the smallest glass pieces. Some micromosaics contain more than 5000 pieces per square inch. The earliest attempts at micromosaic revealed visible joins between the pieces (known as tesserae) and a lack of perspective. Later artists such as Antonio Aguatti made huge advances in micromosaic technique, resulting in renderings that were truer to life. Glass micromosaic technique developed in the 18th century, in the Vatican Mosaic Workshop in Rome, where they still undertake restoration work today.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Bracelet composed of seven rectangular blue glass plaques set with mosaics, six depicting full-length standing figures of peasants - three men and three women - the seventh and larger plaque with a mosaic of a couple dancing, the man holding tambourines and the woman holding a scarf. Each link is joined to the next by three gold loops.

Place of Origin

Rome (made)


1815-1825 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Micromosaic, glass and gold.


Length: 4 cm, Width: 20.5 cm, :

Object history note

Provenance: Le Vieux Paris, Beverley Hills, 1975.

Descriptive line

Micromosaic bracelet with men and women in traditional costume. Micromosaic, glass and gold, Rome, 1815-25.

Labels and date

6. Bracelet with figures in traditional costume

Rome, Italy
Glass micromosaic set in blue glass, and copper, gold and silver alloy
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.147:1-2008 [16/11/2016]


Glass; Gold; Mosaic glass; Material


Micromosaic; Setting; Technique

Subjects depicted

Peasants; Subject; Tambourines; Scarf; Dancing


Metalwork Collection

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