A late 18th century Italian Grand Tour Era Micro Mosaic Nickel Plated Crucifix . The crucifix is decorated with varied heraldic shields with colourful micro mosaic applique vignettes depicting seven famous Roman historic architectural sites.
Micro-mosaics are a type of mosaic created from tiny fragments of glass (called tesserae), that are cut into tiny pieces and arranged to create an image. Made for the tourist trade, the sites include St Peter’s Basilica, San Giovanni in Lateran, San Pietro in Vaticano, Santa Maria Maggiore, San Paolo Fuori le Mura, The Roman Colosseum and St Peter’s Basilica. Four Christian style medallions at each of the four points depict the cross roads of Jesus Christ. The back of the crucifix is plain with no decoration. The crucifix stands on gilded metal paw feet and is in wonderful condition for its age with just some minor losses. The cross weighs an impressive 5 kilos.
The “Grand Tour” was the 17th and 18th Century custom of a trip of Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men and women of sufficient means and rank when they had come of age (about 21 years old) in search of art, culture and the roots of Western civilization. These pieces were often purchased by individuals on the Grand Tour of Europe such as from the gift shop at the Vatican and the souvenirs proudly displayed at home.
Some loss to the tiny mosaics and minor surface wear from polishing, commensurate with age.
Available to view at
21 Ariki Street
Grey Lynn, Auckland
Phone: 09 360 9858 or 027 414 0081
Mon - Fri: 10am ~ 6pm
Sat: On Request
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A Grand Tour Italian micromosaic standing crucifix c.1890