These days when someone sends you flowers you typically think of it as a sweet and touching gesture.
However, in the 19th century, sending flowers was not only an art form, but also a means of relaying secret messages to friends, lovers and even enemies. One mixed floral bouquet had the power to convey entire conversations, secret thoughts and hidden affection (or hatred).
Floriography was so popular, that publishers began putting out special pocket sized flower dictionaries detailing the many different floral codes.
This spectacular micro mosaic brooch has a secret message of its own.
Handcrafted in Italy in the latter half of the 19th century, this exquisite brooch is composed of thousands of tiny glass tesserae fragments that have been artfully fashioned together to create a beautiful bouquet of forget-me-nots.
In Victorian floriography, forget-me-nots carry the symbolic meaning of remembrance, true love and devotion. We like to think perhaps this piece was a beautiful statement of affection between two lovers.
What makes this micro mosaic more unusual than most is that some of the flowers are relieved against the background giving the piece dimension and depth. Traditionally, most micro mosaics are flat.
Mosaic is mounted in a very simple frame with an 18k gold gilt top and brass back.
Materials: Glass tesserae, 18k gold gilt, brass
Measurements: 1 3/4" x 1 3/8"
There has been some obvious old repair work done to the flowers on the left side of the bouquet as well as to a couple of others in the piece. The left side of the bow has some color loss and there is a small stain on some of the white tesserae on the bottom left. The frame has a 1/4" scratch along the top and a slight dent on the bottom. Perhaps this piece was dropped and then repaired at some point in its lifetime, we really don't know. The back of the brooch has a demarcation where a sticker was kept on it for too long. All in all, not all flowers are perfect in the real world so we don't think these cosmetic flaws take too much away from the beauty of this piece. The fact that someone went through great lengths to try to repair it shows how truly special this brooch really is.
Cleaning and Care
Wipe with a damp cloth if needed. Gently polish the gold with a jewelry polishing cloth if necessary.