Large early C19th Italian 'Grand Tour' micro-mosaic inlaid plaque of "The Doves of Pliny".
Set into a square Belgo Nero marble. The four doves, perched on the edge of a Tazza, and drinking from it. Incredibly detailed with features such as a refelction of the doves in the rippled water, a simple crack in the plinth under the tazza, and loose feathers and seeds that have fallen to the ground from the birds. Top quality and colours. Set in a C20th carved Giltwood frame. With old Italian label behind the later board, "Tazza Di Palombe, Musei Capitolini, Roma". 13.5” square, mosaic 7.25” diameter.
The design of the doves, known as the 'Capitoline Doves' or 'Doves of Pliny', comes from a Roman floor mosaic discovered in 1737 at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, which in turn is believed to be a copy of a lost Ancient Greek mosaic at Pegamon. The original is described by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, completed in 77 AD.
The term 'micro-mosaic' is used to describe mosaics made of the smallest pieces of marble. A technique developed in the C18th in the Vatican workshops, and later flourished as an industry in Rome making pieces such as this as expensive tourist momentoes.
Good strong original colours.