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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Mosaic Ring
Identifier: 2005.1.23
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: c.1860
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A 15 carat yellow gold ring with an oval flower mosaic centre. The ring has split foliated shoulders and an oval foliated bezel (a rounded collar into which a gemstone is set). top surrounding the mosaic. The central mosaic has three blue and white flowers with red centres. The flower stems are made from wire and the leaves are green enamel set on a black background with a blue border.

History: This ring belonged to Matilda Lindsay (c.1802-1887), Captain James Harrisís sister who lived in Perth in Scotland. Matilda Lindsay was a consistent correspondent with her brother and sent many care packages to Captain Harris and his family.
Kathleen Agnes Sayers neť Colloton (1907 -1981) was the wife of Geoffrey Sayers. Kathleen, known as Kay, married Geoffrey in 1933 at St. Peterís Anglican Church in Erindale. Kay and Geoffrey never had any children and were the last Harris relatives to live at Benares.
This jewellery was part of Kay Sayers Estate and was donated by Geoffrey Sayers. Many of these pieces were originally from inheritances through the Harris and Draper families.
Mosaics of the of the 18th and 19th centuries were made of small pieces of semi precious stone, glass, marble, and other materials to form intricate micro-mosaics. The tiles or tesserae were mounted into plaques that were made into jewellery and other small items like snuff boxes. The interest in mosaics was spawned by the discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the mid 1700ís. European travelers to Italy usually brought back souvenir mosaics depicting classical architecture, ruins, birds and floral studies derived from Pompeian wall paintings. The reintroduction of mosaic jewellery originated in Rome and Naples although production spread to many of the tourist centres of Italy. Mosaic jewellery fell out of fashion in England around the late 1860ís although its production in Italy continues unabated.
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