$200,000 micromosaic of Rome by Cesare Roccheggiani stars in antiques auction

Myers Fine Art auctioneers are holding a remarkable auction of European and Asian Antiques at the end of this month, with nearly 500 lots going under the hammer with a wide range likely to attract collectors of all kinds of items.

A Scottish leather, sterling silver and carved ebony dirk will certainly interest collectors of antiques and militaria. With embossed silver caps and sheath.

It has suffered a miniscule bend to the very tip, but otherwise the blade is in good condition. It is hallmarked in all 4 portions of the silver with the maker "RA" in an oval. There is a date stamp of a "C" in a clover. The sheath is also in good condition.

The dirk may be expected to make a four-figure sum (though the auctioneer has listed it just short of this).

Antique jewellery collectors will be impressed by a striking and substantial 18 karat gold enamelled bracelet marked as being from the workshop of Emmanuel Pioté dating to the early 1820s.

The piece was probably made by Jakob Heinrich Köchert, with this and the date being suggested by the Arabic writing on the piece, which was a speciality of Köchert's. He joined the workshop in 1819 and became equal partner in charge of the workshop in 1825.

The Arabic inscription on the green stone begins, "There is no God but Allah," with some additional terms of praise on the lines that follow. It is expected to attract bids of $4,000 - $6,000.

There is one piece, however, which is a runaway favourite for the top spot in the auction: an Italian 32" x 59" Micromosaic attributed to Cesare Roccheggiani.

Micromosaic of Rome
Micromosaic of Rome
(Click to enlarge)

The large 19th century Italian micromosaic picture depicts a panoramic view of the Roman forum.

The remarkable Italian micromosaic was composed from tens of thousands of minute pieces of opaque glass by the master-mosaicist Ceasare Roccheggiani, who was active at the Vatican workshops from 1856 to 1864.

Producing such a luminous painterly composition, required skillfully selecting the tiny individual tesserae from a vast palette of colours, then painstakingly setting the minute tessarae in place within the micro detailed scene.

It weighs over 100 lbs and is supported on a iron strapped frame foundation. For nearly 90 years the important micromosaic rested undisturbed above the mantel in an old Tampa, Florida estate.

In good condition, with no loss or repair, the piece is expected to bring $100,000-200,000 in the sale which takes place in Florida, USA and online on January 30.


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