- Museum number
Gold necklace with a woven chain of circular section with nine graduated banner-shaped pendants alternating with eight rod-and-disc pendants, all set with black and white micromosaics in 'Pompeiian' style, except for two pendants flanking the clasp, with dolphins in blue water. The other subjects are Eros figures, dancing maenads, and Hera(?) in the centre. The discs contain masks and dolphins, with mosaic stars along the rods. The panels are all outlined in gold strips forming cloisons. The pendants are held in place by gold pins and the chain is fastened by an S-clasp. In the original leather case with a maker's mark.
- Production date
Length: 5.10 centimetres (central panel)
Width: 21.50 centimetres (box)
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 966:
Cesare Roccheggiani is presumably the member of the family of mosaicists whose name is recorded in the lid of the case (see Petochi 1981, p. 69), since he is the only member with the initial 'C'. The only published document referring to Cesare is dated 1859, when he is mentioned in a bill of payment in the archives of the Vatican Mosaic Factory at St Peter's. He was probably related to Lorenzo and Nicola Roccheggiani, mosaicists of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and Antonio Roccheggiani, who gained medals at the London exhibition of 1851 and the Paris exhibition of 1855. According to the Artistical Directory, Rome, 1856, Antonio's shop was at 7 Piazza di Spagna. The 1874 Guida Monaci lists C. Roccheggiani at 14-15 via Condotti, whereas Murray's Handbook to Rome of 1875 lists Roccheggiani with no initial under 'Mosaicists' as at 14 via Condotti. In the 1888 edition 'Roccheggiani' is described as selling also 'gold ornaments from antique patterns', while the Guida Commerciale di Roma of 1900 shows that the Roccheggiani premises had expanded to nos 12-15 via Condotti. Since the case is labelled in French, it seems likely that the necklace was sent for sale in Paris; however, it is not known when Roccheggiani first occupied 13 via Condotti.
The mosaic subjects are loosely derived from the wall-paintings at Herculaneum. For the use of 'cloisonné' mosaic, see 952. (Judy Rudoe)
See also C. Gere & J. Rudoe, 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World', London, British Museum, 2010, fig. 411 p.423. Caption: ‘Gold necklace with micromosaics by Cesare Roccheggiani. Italian, Rome, about 1874–90.’ (Charlotte Gere)
For a gold and micromosaic pendant made in Rome after 1872, in the form of an alpha and omega monogram with an amphora below, see: 2013,8005.1. The geometric micromosaic patterns are close to those used in this necklace retailed by Roccheggiani and may have been made in the same workshop. There are at least three different designs of millefiori or patterned cane: a square tessera with white lozenge on blue ground; a square tessera with two red and two white triangles; and an oblong pattern in blue and in red with a larger coloured triangle and two small white ones. (Charlotte Gere).
- On display (G47/dc8)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Nonesuch Antques, 124 New Bond Street, London W1. Original invoice for £1,650 + VAT total £1,856.25 to Anne Hull Grundy dated 3.7.1978, described as 'Antique mosaic necklace in case'.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.31 (masterlist number)