A high carat gold ring with a rectangular swivelling bezel, its cut corners inset with a micromosaic depicting a goldfinch, circa 1800. This micromosaic is in the style of the mosaicist Giacomo Raffaelli [1753 – 1836]. The technique and imagery here are remarkably similar to a goldfinch attributed to Raffaelli in the Gilbert Collection. The naturalism of this early mosaic is due to the late 18th century development of small tesserae no larger in diameter than a pinhead. The solitary bird on a branch was one of the first motifs used by Raffaelli and may have been inspired by similar birds on 17th century pietra dura plaques. Typical of Raffaelli’s mosaics, the background here has shallow perspective and a low horizon or ground line, as well as a border of microscopic red and white tesserae. The ring is size N and 1/2 [US 6 and 3/4] and the plaque measures 1 and 1/8 inches by 3/4 of an inch. A perfect miniature work of art.
Plaque of a goldfinch attributed to Raffaelli in the Gilbert Collection
Micromosaic ring of similar construction in the Gilbert Collection