Bling! : Excessive Accessories: Geometric Glamour
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Brooch made of an oval-shaped black jet stone with the center having a micro mosaic scene of the Roman Coliseum done in tiny glass tiles of blue, white, tan, green and black.

Micro Mosaic jewelry really is a work of art. Tiny glass tiles (called tesserae) are placed carefully into cement to produce incredible micro mosaics pictures, which are then set into jewelry frames.The height of popularity for Micro Mosaic jewelry was in the 17th and 18th Century, during a period of time called the Grand Tour Era. Men (and occasionally women) of rich European families would travel around the continent, taking in the sights and cultures of different countries. Italy was a popular tourist spot due to its had a long and prestigious history in arts and culture - a favourite subject in aristocratic circles. It was also a famous glass ware producer, and canny Italian craftsmen quickly turned their glass making skills into making stunning miniature pictures out of glass tiles for their rich visitors. Mosaic jewelry of this period usually depicted famous Italian landmarks such as Vatican Square or the Coliseum, though occasionally Roman mythology was a subject too. Wealthier tourists would commission their own personal Mosaics, with flowers, animals or even famous works of art being a favourite subject for Mosaic glass artists to create. The small size of the Micro Mosaic was particularly appealing; micro mosaics could be worn on the Grand Tourists continuing journey, or sent back home to loved ones as a kind of fore-runner to our modern postcards. By the late 19th Century the Micro Mosaic craze was nearing its end, and the higher end pieces (so popular during the Grand Tour Era) ceased to be made. Micro Mosaic jewelry still continues to be made today, though usually in much cruder forms, often depicting simple flowers rather than the classical scenes of it's 18th century heyday.

In part 2 I'll show you the 3 different types of Micro Mosaic jewellery, how to start collecting,

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