Egyptian Revival Victorian Micro Mosaic Scarab Brooch, Grand Tour 18k with Vatican Hallmark
This exceptional historical piece is truly museum quality, bearing the hallmark for the goldsmiths of the Vatican from the mid-1800s. It was masterfully crafted in 18k gold with hundreds of tiny “tesserae” tiles of malachite, lapis lazuli, onyx, gold and glass and is a true marvel to behold. The brooch is studded with natural pearls and classic Etruscan revival style wirework, all depicting an iridescent scarab in the style of Ancient Egyptian jewelry. This piece is in exceptionally good condition for its age, with the original hallmarked pin stem and C-clasp, which is exceedingly rare in these pieces. It appears as though it was scarcely ever worn.
Made during the Victorian Grand Tour era in Rome, this piece bears the “St. Peter’s Mark” of the crossed keys and Pope’s Miter, the hallmark of the Papal States (before Italian unification and the loss of church territory in Rome outside of the Vatican grounds in 1870). This piece would have been made in the 1850-60s, and likely was sold as a souvenir to a wealthy visitor on their grand tour. At this time, the Western World was fascinated by the archeological discoveries in Egypt, Italy, and Greece. The finest Roman goldsmiths began replicating the craftsmanship of the recently unearthed treasures, utilizing granulation, fine filigree, and micromosaic.
-Hallmarked 18k gold with official “St. Peter’s” papal hallmarks from the Vatican goldsmiths
-Micromosaic includes malachite, lapis lazuli, onyx, gold, glass and natural pearls
-In very good condition, with only a few tesserae missing (see final photos)
-Approximate measurements 31.75mm x 31.75mm