|Description: A yellow gold filled mesh bracelet with a central mosaic decoration on the clasp. The clasp is rectangular and has a raised mesh design on the front with a oval collet set with a micro-mosaic composed of oval jasper which is inlaid with coloured glass tesserae (red, blue, yellow, white and black) in the form of a butterfly. The clasp slides internally. The back of the clasp is smooth and shows black tarnishing and pitting. The chain-mail bracelet part is attached by means of six rings attached to six holes on the clasp. One of the rings has come loose and no longer holds the bracelet together. |
Mosaics 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.
These items were donated by Barbara Sayers Larson, the granddaughter of Arthur and Mary Harris of Benares. These items of jewellery are pieces handed down to her as gifts and through inheritances. The exact provenance of each piece is unknown as much of the jewellery in the Harris family came from Captain Harrises relatives in Scotland. The pieces may have also been passed down through Mary Magrath Harris or the Draper family who were connected to the Harrises through the marriage of Annie Harris to Beverly Sayers.