Very Fine Micro mosaic Tabletop For Sale
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Very Fine Micro mosaic Tabletop


Very fine and large micro mosaic table top. Centered by Saint Peter's Basilica and the Vatican, surrounded by twelve wedge-shaped scenes of Rome. Measures: Diameter 45 inches. The term micromosaic was coined by Arthur Gilbert, and refers to a form of mosaic using only very small pieces. The origin of these types of mosaics lies in the late 18th Century in Italy, but the history of mosaic art as a whole stretches back thousands of years. Micromosaic-making was born in a period when interest in Ancient Roman art was at an all-time high: the neoclassical age. They are the result of painstaking craftsmanship, made up of thousands of tiny individual squares (called tesserae) to make a larger picture. In the very best micromosaics, these tesserae are so small that they can’t be seen with the human eye: the image therefore looks like a painting. Given their complexity, the production of micromosaics was, and is, an extremely time consuming process that only the most skilled of artisans are able to complete. It is for this reason that they are so rare and highly sought after. The process of making micromosaics is an extremely laborious and painstaking one, undertaken only by highly trained and skilled craftsmen. First, glass chips of different colors are placed into a furnace and melted: this melted glass is known in Italian as smalto. The smalto is then pulled out of the furnace in long, thin threads which then cool and are shaved down to make the tiny tesserae. These tesserae can come in a range of colors, and, because they are glass, these colors never fade over time. A micromosaic today, therefore, looks exactly the same as it did two hundred years ago when it was first made. The tesserae are then arranged, one by one, with tweezers onto a copper, gold, or marble tray lined with a slow drying adhesive.  Ultimately the quality of the resulting micromosaic is determined by the minuteness of the tesserae used (the smaller, the better) and the skill of the artisan in arranging the tesserae to produce a pleasing composition. Despite their incredible skill, many mosaicists’ names were never recorded: unlike paintings, the artist very rarely, if ever, signed their work.


  • Production time
    Available Now
  • Date of manufacture
    circa 1850
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 19.5 in. x Dm 45 in.

    H 49.53 cm x Dm 114.3 cm

  • Diameter
    45 in. (114.3 cm)
  • Seller location
    Palm Beach, FL
  • Reference number

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1stdibs seller since 2018
Located in Palm Beach, FL
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