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AN ITALIAN GOLD-MOUNTED HARDSTONE BONBONNIERE SET WITH A MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more
AN ITALIAN GOLD-MOUNTED HARDSTONE BONBONNIERE SET WITH A MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE

THE MICROMOSAIC ATTRIBUTED TO GIACOMO RAFFAELLI (1753-1836), ROME, CIRCA 1800

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AN ITALIAN GOLD-MOUNTED HARDSTONE BONBONNIERE SET WITH A MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE
THE MICROMOSAIC ATTRIBUTED TO GIACOMO RAFFAELLI (1753-1836), ROME, CIRCA 1800
circular lapis-lazuli box, the independent cover set with a micromosaic plaque depicting a mother duck and her duckling paddling amongst reeds on a pond, with a black and red tesserae surround, within tongue and dart frame, the gold mounts similarly chased
3½ in. (89 mm.) diam.
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

Giacomo Raffaelli (1753-1836) worked in both the Vatican workshops as well as his own atelier in the Piazza di Spagna, where the numerous mosaic workshops were clustered to take advantage of travellers on the grand tour. Extensively patronised by Pope Pius VI (1775-1799) and credited by Moroni as the 'caposcuola del mosaico in piccolo' in his Dizionario di erudidizione storiecclesiastica, Venice, 1847-1860, Raffaelli's micromosaics are characterised by their sophistication of tonal modulation and smalti filati, as well as by the sense of motion and naturalism that are instilled in the compositions.
There are several examples of this subject, along with micromosaics with similar black and red tesserae surounds, that are illustrated in R. Grieco and A. Gambino, Roman Mosaic, l'arte del micromosaico fra '700 e '800, Milan, 2001, pp. 64, 66, 92, 104 and 106. Further examples of this type of border on micromosaics attributed to Raffaelli are illustrated in J. H. Gabriel, The Gilbert Collection of Micromosaics, London, 2000, p. 56 and in D. Petochi, M. Alfieri and M. G. Branchetti, I mosaici minuti Romani dei secoli XVIII e XIX, Rome, 1981, p. 181, fig. 7, and p. 182, figs. 14 and 15. A micromosaic box with a very similar composition to the present example and attributed to Raffaelli is in the Museo degli argenti Firenze and illustrated in the museum's catalogue, picture 689, (boxes 8-10).

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