Unknown Artist, ‘ITALIAN MICROMOSAIC TABLE ’, ca. 1845,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Unknown Artist, ‘ITALIAN MICROMOSAIC TABLE ’, ca. 1845,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Unknown Artist, ‘ITALIAN MICROMOSAIC TABLE ’, ca. 1845,  M.S. Rau Antiques

This rare and intriguing antique table boasts an intricately crafted micromosaic top. Seven individual scenes of ruins and monuments adorn the ebonized surface, including the magnificent view of St. Peter’s Square, with its iconic basilica, occupying the central spot. Each comprised of hundreds of miniscule colored tesserae, or tiles, these mosaics are framed with exceptional Russian malachite, which also surrounds the captivating border of rare marble and granite specimens, many of which are no longer mined.

This table surface, undoubtedly a souvenir from the Grand Tour, is set atop an elegant mahogany tripod base, its carved claw feet beautifully extending from the triangular pedestal. Micromosaic is among the most amazing artistic techniques for the incredible amount of time it takes to construct one, and for the astonishing level of detail achieved by these dedicated artists. To find such an exquisite example is quite rare.

Circa 1845

35 ½” diameter x 29 ½” high

Glorious micromosaics of unprecedented beauty and complexity enjoyed great popularity among the ancient Romans who decorated their homes with massive, highly detailed pieces. The art of the micromosaic re-emerged during the 19th century, most notably in the workshops of the Vatican, and found favor among the surge of affluent tourists making their requisite Grand Tour across Europe. Avid collectors of these incredible works included Napoleon and Josephine, Russian czars and ancestors of the legendary de Medici family.

About Unknown Artist