A very rare Roman Micro Mosaic Panel of a Comic Actors Mask in 18th Century Frame

A very rare Roman Micro Mosaic Panel of a Comic Actors Mask in 18th Century Frame

100 BC to 100 Italy

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A very rare Roman Micro Mosaic Panel of a Comic Actors Mask in 18th Century Frame

The central original Mosaic Panel with 18th Century restored margins using ancient tesserae from the same site

Size: 29cm x 26cm
Provenance: Inscribe to the reverse in old ink script: 'This
mosaic larva … of the compartments in the ….Bath in the
Farnese Gardens at Rome. It is a most perfect and highly valuable
specimen of the mosaic workmanship during the Augustan Age. Livia was
the wife of Augustus and the mother of Tiberius. She died at the age of
86, twenty-eight years after the birth of our Saviour. This antique
specimen of mosaic was bought from Italy by the Hon. Ble. Rev. H. H.
Dawnay in the year of 1795'.
The Hon. Rev. Dawnay came from a family of Grand Tour Collectors. In
the 'Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800' by
John Ingamell his father is mentioned.
The sites of Rome, Pompeii and Herculaneum were 'de rigueur' for Grand
Tourists at the end of the 18th century. Large print folios were
commissioned from artists and put together depicting the wall paintings
and mosaics found at these sites and amongst other souvenirs micro
mosaics began to be made at this time copying these antique images.
There is a mosaic from the Villa of Cicero at Pompeii from the 3rd
Century BC in the National Museum of Naples showing a scene from the
Greek new comedy. The fine quality is comparable in showing the ancient
mosaicists skill in handling minute pieces of coloured stone to imitate
the effects of painting.
Much later in the 19th century as an extension of this ancient art
exquisite table tops and plaques were produced depicting the classical
sites, and were avidly sought after and collected by the crowned heads,
aristocracy, and emerging nouveau riche of Europe. There still exists
today a studio in the Vatican producing and restoring micro mosaics.
We can only imagine how much more memorable and exciting it must have
been for the Hom. Rec. Dawnay to have obtained the genuine article
whilst on his 18th Century Grand Tour.

Height 29.00 cm (11.42 inches)
Width 26.00 cm (10.24 inches)
Micro Mosaic
Finch & Co

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