Italian Micromosaic Portrait, ca. 1880
Appraised Value: $30,000 - $40,000 (2007)
$20,000 - $30,000 (2014)
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:01)
C. Wesley Cowan
Books & Manuscripts, Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Photographs
Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
GUEST: I have a micromosaic. A great-grandmother brought it back from Rome.
APPRAISER: When, about?
GUEST: Uh, around 1920.
APPRAISER: A micromosaic is a piece of art done in little tiny pieces of, in this case, glass. This whole picture is made up of thousands of pieces of glass. And this is probably slate in which there's been a little well cut out where a mastic could be put in and then the picture could be made. Now, this piece of micromosaic you think is from the 1920s, but I can tell you this is very much an 1880s-style frame. So I would guess that even though your relatives might have bought it in the 1920s, it was made in the 1880s. It was made for probably tourists, but wealthy tourists. Most micromosaics are classical buildings and landscapes. Very few are figures like this. And notice all the tiny little pieces of glass that go into this, and then you move over here from looking at the wall, look at the guy's face and see how incredibly detailed it is. It's signed down here "Roma," Rome. And then there's an artist's name here, but it's very difficult to read. At some point the frame was refinished. I know you said you didn't do anything. It would have been better if the frame hadn't been refinished. But it still doesn't take away from how wonderful this piece is. How much do you think it's worth?
GUEST: I would hope well over $100,000, but I don't know.
APPRAISER: Well, it might bring that on a really great day, but we feel very comfortable saying $30,000 to $40,000.
GUEST: $30,000 to $40,000?
APPRAISER: And then on a really good day it could go north of $40,000 very easily. It's just a magnificent example. A true piece of art. It's been great seeing it.
GUEST: Thank you.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.