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A Return to the Grand Tour: Micromosaic Jewels from the Collection of Elizabeth Locke

January 17, 2020 - January 10, 2021

Gallery 9

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Micromosaics arrived at their height of pictorial perfection from the late 18th to the mid 19th centuries. These exquisitely crafted plaques, which contain up to 1,400 delicately shaded tiles of glass per square inch, were sold to travelers on their Grand Tour through Italy. Made into jewelry, boxes, and paper weights and sold as easily carried mementoes, micromosaics passed out of fashion toward the end of the 19th century and are now a lost art. This exhibition features 92 brilliant examples from the private collection of Elizabeth Locke.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Gibbes Museum Women's Council, Croghan's Jewel Box, Lou Hammond Group and Jill and Richard Almeida.

This exhibition is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.

<i>Walking Butterfly</i>, 19th century, attributed to Giacomo Raffaelli (Italian, 1753—1836); Micromosaic set in gold as a pendant, with gold bezel, hinged bale, 35 x 35 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Walking Butterfly, 19th century, attributed to Giacomo Raffaelli (Italian, 1753—1836); Micromosaic set in gold as a pendant, with gold bezel, hinged bale, 35 x 35 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

<i>Coliseum, Rome</i>, 19th century; Micromosaic set in metal box detailed with enamel paint, 45 x 45 x 39 mm.; Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Coliseum, Rome, 19th century; Micromosaic set in metal box detailed with enamel paint, 45 x 45 x 39 mm.; Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

<i>St. Peter's Square, Rome</i>, 19th century; Micromosaic set in gold as a pendant, with malachite border, suspended on 12-mm malachite bead necklace, 17 in.; 33 x 40 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

St. Peter's Square, Rome, 19th century; Micromosaic set in gold as a pendant, with malachite border, suspended on 12-mm malachite bead necklace, 17 in.; 33 x 40 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

<i>Doves of Pliny</i>, 19th century, Giaocchino Barberi (Italian, 1783—1857), micromosaic set in black plaque, 54 x 78 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Doves of Pliny, 19th century, Giaocchino Barberi (Italian, 1783—1857), micromosaic set in black plaque, 54 x 78 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

<i>Parrot, Rome</i>, 19th century, micromosaic set in gold as a pendant, with four sets of 4-mm tsavorite and 2.7-mm demantoid garnets on bezel, 50 x 45 mm; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Parrot, Rome, 19th century, micromosaic set in gold as a pendant, with four sets of 4-mm tsavorite and 2.7-mm demantoid garnets on bezel, 50 x 45 mm; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

<i>Peasant Man with Walking Stick, Rome</i>, 19th century, after etchings by Bartolomeo Pinelli (Italian, 1781—1835); Micromosaic set in wide hammered gold bangle with rolled edges and side black jade cushions with gold triads, 1 3/8 x 2 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Peasant Man with Walking Stick, Rome, 19th century, after etchings by Bartolomeo Pinelli (Italian, 1781—1835); Micromosaic set in wide hammered gold bangle with rolled edges and side black jade cushions with gold triads, 1 3/8 x 2 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

<i>Roman Forum, Rome</i>, 19th century; Micromosaic set in gold as a brooch, with alternating 6-mm cabochon aquamarines with side gold dots and 5-mm faceted aquamarines around bezel, 54 x 62 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Roman Forum, Rome, 19th century; Micromosaic set in gold as a brooch, with alternating 6-mm cabochon aquamarines with side gold dots and 5-mm faceted aquamarines around bezel, 54 x 62 mm. Collection of Elizabeth Locke; Photo: Travis Fullerton; © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Sponsors

  • Gibbes Museum Women's Council
  • Croghan's Jewel Box
  • Lou Hammond Group