Micro Mosaic Brooch Depicting The Pyramid of Caius Cestius


Once the possession of a wealthy wanderer, this exceptional micro mosaic of The Pyramid of Cestius in Rome, dates to the mid 19th century. During the Grand Tour  wealthy families would travel around Europe to experience different cultures and to see various landmarks, and would acquire small souvenirs like this along the way. Like this example, the most desirable micromosaics are smooth to the touch, with very little space between the tesserae. Each tile has been painstakingly hand placed into a pattern, then finished with a polish. Measures 1 7/8" x 1 5/8".

Weight: 28.9 g

Metal: 14k gold frame, replacement pinstem is plated

Markings: none

History: The Pyramid of Cestius is an ancient pyramid in Rome, Italy, near the Porta San Paolo and the Protestant Cemetery. It was built as a tomb for Gaius Cestius, a member of the Epulones religious corporation. It stands at a fork between two ancient roads, the Via Ostiensis and another road that ran west to the Tiber along the approximate line of the modern Via Marmorata. Due to its incorporation into the city's fortifications, it is today one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. The pyramid was built about 18–12 BC as a tomb for Gaius Cestius, a magistrate and member of one of the four great religious corporations in Rome, the Septemviri Epulonum. It is of brick-faced concrete covered with slabs of white marble standing on a travertine foundation.