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  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Granite, gold mounts, micromosaic

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Ponte Lucano is a bridge between Tivoli and Rome in Italy, built to commemorate the Roman defeat of the Lucanians. This mosaic is copied from a published engraving, which was a popular method of producing mosaic designs.

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, which continues to 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

Circular bonbonniere, the granite body mounted in gold and set on the cover with a micromosaic of Ponte Lucano, the tomb of the Plautii in the background.

Place of Origin

Rome (made)


ca. 1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Granite, gold mounts, micromosaic


Diameter: 5.8 cm, Height: 2.2 cm

Object history note

Provenance: Kugel, Paris.

Descriptive line

Bonbonniere with Lucano bridge, micromosaic, gold and granite, Rome, 1800.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Truman, Charles. The Gilbert collection of gold boxes, Vol. I. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1991, cat. no. 144, pp. 414-5. ISBN.0875871623


Granite; Gold; Mosaic glass


Setting; Setting; Micromosaic


Containers; Metalwork; Mosaic; Personal accessories


Metalwork Collection

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