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Unique Clasp on this antique bracelet, it is Gold Gilt. It has a small micromosaic flower in the center made from small cut stone. Also there are small rounded stones above and below the center flower that are bezel set.
Detail on Gilt and Micromosaic
Gold leaf (Gold Gilt) has been a revered surface decoration for thousands of years. Its color, reflectivity and permanence have been associated with beauty and richness in cultures and classes across the globe. There is something in the reflected light from this elemental material that triggers joy, awe, and fascination in the human consciousness as accessed through the eye.
What is the definition of gilding?
In its most basic definition, gilding can be described as the covering of a base or common material with a layer of gold. This layer is achieved through the application of gold leaf to an adhesive, which has been applied, to the surface to be gilded. It must be noted that there are other, lesser materials used to achieve a gilt surface. Composition leaf, which is composed, of copper and tin can be used. Just as well, bronze and mica powders mixed in a binder can make a ‘gold’ paint. These surfaces, while capable of being very attractive will never achieve the look of true gold leaf.
Wearing micromosaic jewelry became popular during the Grand Tour period (17th - 19th Century). Members of rich European families would travel around Europe, taking in the sights and cultures of different countries. Italy was a very popular tourist spot as it had a long and prestigious history in arts and culture - a favorite subject in aristocratic circles. It was also a famous glass producer, and canny Italian craftsmen quickly turned their glass making skills to making stunning miniature Micromosaic pictures for their rich visitors.
Mosaic work jewelry of this period usually depicted famous Italian landmarks such as the Coliseum and St. Peter's Basilica, though occasionally Roman mythology was a subject too. The richest tourists would commission their own mosaics, with flowers, animals and famous works of art being favorite subjects. The small size of the Micromosaic was appealing; micro mosaics could be worn on the Grand Tourists continuing journey, or sent back home to love ones as a kind of forerunner to modern postcards.
Rather than being sold in Italy many Micromosaic were exported to jewelers in London, America and Paris to be set into larger pieces.
Micromosaic jewelry fell out of fashion in the 1870s.
The bracelet in formed with oval drilled natural Peridot gemstones. There are four rolls attached to the clasp. I would date this bracelet circa 1850 to 1860. The total length is 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. The clasp is strong for wearing this lovely Victorian Bracelet.