The master mosaicist Cesare Roccheggiani was active at the Vatican workshops from 1856 to 1864, but like many of his contemporaries sought to supplement his income by establishing his own workshop making mosaics for dealers and tourists. His private atelier is recorded firstly at 125 Via Babuino and then, by 1874, at 14 & 15 Via Condotti. By this time there were as many as ninety-six mosaicisti operating in Rome largely producing small plaques, miniatures and cameos for the tourist trade. However, the best mosaicists, like Roccheggiani, were acclaimed for their ability to produce micromosaics on a large scale and with the greatest attention to detail in creating painterly panels. The most magnificent and costly examples, such as a massive panel of the Roman Forum by the same artist, sold Christie’s, London, 2 December 2014, lot 109 (£290,500), remained the preserve of the wealthy and powerful. Monumental mosaics were bought as souvenirs by visiting aristocrats, given as diplomatic gifts, commissioned by monarchs and displayed at the Great Exhibitions.