'The Doves of Pliny' micro-mosaic velvet choker, circa 1850.


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Description

'The Doves of Pliny' micro-mosaic velvet choker. Victorian choker, set with a oval gold plaque containing a raised micro-mosaic plaque depicting two doves and a flower ring against a black background, with a hidden clasp on one side, approximately 14" in length. Tested yellow, circa 1850.

Micro-mosaic jewellery was particularly popular during the nineteenth century, when it was produced by workshops in Rome to appeal to tourists visiting the capital on the Grand Tour.

Doves were commonly used as subject of micromosaics in souvenir jewels, known as the Capitoline Doves or Doves of Pliny. This design came from a Roman floor mosaic discovered in 1737 at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, which thought to be a copy of a lost ancient Greek mosaic described by Pliny.

For a similar 'The Doves of Pliny' piece of a slightly earlier date, see Victoria & Albert Museum, acquisition number GILBERT.194:1, 2-2008.


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