You might like[ hide ]

Browse by Designer

Browse by Era


Subscribe to the Morning Glory Newsletter for articles all about jewelry. Unsubscribe anytime.


You are on a reference page of Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry. These items were photographed from private collections, and are for reference only.

Jewelry that we have available TO BUY can be accessed by clicking HERE

Morning Glory Collects…

things we love to buy, wear and share


Mosaic Jewelry ~


The GRAND TOUR was the standard European
vacation of the Georgian and Victorian eras. The opportunity
it gave for studying culture, architecture and art made it a
tradition, especially for the upper classes. And what better
souvenir of this long trip than pieces of native souvenir jewelry
such as Italian cameo, mosaic and pietra dura pieces.
These were popular for decades, and can still be purchased
today although not often in as good a quality. During this
same period there was souvenir jewelry from the British Isles as
well, including Scottish agate "pebble" jewelry and Whitby
jet, also typical of their areas of manufacture.

Historically inspired jewelry was prompted
in the Victorian era by the study
of ancient Pompeii, Egypt, Greece and Rome. These motifs
included designs from wall paintings, floor tiles and excavated jewelry.
Heavier Renaissance and Medieval style jewelry combined well
with the heavier Victorian fashions as well, and later in
the 19th century Oriental motifs provided further inspiration. Plant collecting was a passionate Victorian hobby, and
these natural motifs were also reflected in jewelry. Amazing
novelty jewelry was made of everything from small real birds
to beetles and other insects. What we today might think
grotesque they saw as innovative, and reflective of their
interest in nature, science and leisure activities. Mosaics
as a form of art and decoration go back literally thousands
of years to the ancient world. Mosaics can be seen as early
as Mesopotamia, and the Greeks and Romans with their
wonderful mosaics were studied by many of us in high school.
Used mostly for decorating walls and pavements, it later
became popularly used in jewelry as well

Mosaics were made primarily in Italy, and there are two kinds of
mosaic inlay techniques which have been practiced there for
hundreds of years, "pietra dura" and "mosaic" work. They
were created in two different cities, pietra dura in Florence and
mosaics in Rome. Pietra dura,
in Italian, means "hard stone", and it has the look of a
jigsaw puzzle with closely fitting pieces on a black background. The
materials were often so closely fitted together that the seams were
all but invisible, and the stones used included semi-precious
malachite, lapis, aventurine and turquoise. Mosaic and micro mosaic
work uses inlaid glass tessera
or rods fitted closely to form landscapes and other motifs like doves or
flowers. Mosaic jewelry was made by setting the colored pieces into
a black cement or mortar background. Pictures and shading were
created by using different colored pieces.

Once travel became popular, these were produced in greater
quantities to supply the tourist trade.
To determine quality,
look for small elements with well made closely fitting designs.
Pieces set in karat gold may command higher prices too, but only if
the workmanship is of great quality.

Older mosaic pieces tend to be more intricate and
well-made, with smaller pieces to form the mosaics and often done in
softer colors with greater detail. There can be hundreds of pieces
in a single inch of the very best mosaics. They are also more often
set in karat gold than the 20th century pieces, which were generally
made for a mass market and a lower price point. A mosaic missing any
of the tiny pieces will be of lower value, so look closely when
buying. Also watch for breaks in the black background. Treat these
little pieces with the care they deserve as they can be damaged, and
once damaged, are all but impossible to repair

VICTORIAN pietra dura
oval brooch in 10k setting, white roses, lily-of-the-valley, daisy and
blue forget-me-nots with green leaves make up the bouquet, circa 1890,
1-5/8" by 2". View

VICTORIAN carte de visite of lady wearing a
lovely pietra dura brooch, marked in pencil on the back, "Jane Manely,
niece of ", photographer "W.W. Winter, Midland Road, Derby,
Patronized by Her Majesty The Queen".

VICTORIAN antique pietra dura pale pink
and white morning glory flowers bar pin with green leaves, silver
and 10k
setting circa 1870, 2-1/2" by 7/8". It has a glass on the back,
but a photo would need to be a small, long and narrow
one to fit there.

Pietra dura,

in Italian, means "hard stone", and it has the look of a jigsaw
puzzle with closely fitting pieces on a black background. The materials
were often so closely fitted together that the seams were all but
invisible, and the stones used included semi-precious malachite, lapis,
aventurine and turquoise.
View #V32598

VICTORIAN pietra dura set in jet
brooch with white rose, daisy and buds and green leaves, 2-1/8" by 1-3/4" .
View #V32743

VICTORIAN pietra dura and
ormolu type finished box, 6" by
3-7/8" by 2-1/4". The design of white roses and flowers and green
leaves is really lovely and beautifully done with delicate shading. View
View #V32742

VICTORIAN jet and pietra
dura brooch, 1-1/2" by 1-/78".
View #V33507

antique mosaic Roman amphitheater building brooch set in
silver tone, 1-1/4" by 1". These were popular souvenirs during trips to
Rome, and for the Grand Tours of the Victorian era. There is not even one
little teassarae missing in this wonderful pin, unusual for one so old.



Pietra dura large picture frame with white marble rose, morning glory
and forget-me-not and green leaves. There is a flip-out stand on the
back. Pietra dura is an Italian art, and has been made for decades.
This is a particularly hard to find piece, 6" tall, 4" wide at the
bottom with a photo opening of 3-3/4" by 2-1/3". The photo inside shows
a lady wearing her jewelry and flowers..
View View #V38310

VICTORIAN pietra dura
brooch of red, pink and white roses pin
surrounded by black, 1-1/2".
View #V33610

VICTORIAN pietra dura set
into a wood box with white flowers, lily-of-the-valley and a morning glory
with green leaves, 3-1/3" by 2-5/8" by 1-1/2" tall.
View #V33576

VICTORIAN pietra dura
ormolu like finish box
with ebonized carved wood sides, 3-1/2" by 2-5/8".
View #V36001

PIETRA DURA Victorian pietra
dura stamp box with 3 divided sections, 3-7/8" by 2-1/8" by 2" high.
View #a34960

lady wearing a pietra dura pendant on a black velvet
ribbon. Carte de viste marked "Lewis, Prize Medals, Isle of Man".

VICTORIAN pietra dura
lilies and forget-me-nots brooch set in 18k yellow gold frame, 1-1/3".

VICTORIAN lady wearing a
pietra dura brooch. Carte de viste marked on the back "C. G. Carleton,
Photographer, Main Street, Waterville, Maine".

18k yellow gold mosaic doves
ring, 3/4" front, size 7.

lady wearing a mosaic pendant on a black velvet ribbon.

dove brooch set in 14k gold.
View #V23962

brooch of roses, lily-of-the-valley and forget-me-nots, circa 1910. This
is the same piece seen in Christie Romero’s book
"Warman’s Jewelry", 2nd Ed, page 66.

VICTORIAN pietra dura bar brooch with pink morning glory and blue
forget-me-nots, 1-1/3" by 1/2".
View #V29819

VICTORIAN pietra dura floral 1" pendant on gold chain.

VRBA scenic
Victorian Italian mosaic in a Haskell style bar brooch with fleur-de-lis, unsigned
because Larry Vrba did this as a favor for me years ago. I had the unset
Victorian mosaic and he fashioned this wonderful brooch so I that could wear it.
The mosaic is Victorian and the setting is artificial seed pearls wired
to two gold tone fleur-de-lis.

VICTORIAN scenic mosaic
links bracelet set in gold tone, 6-1/2" wearable size with each
oval 1" by 5/8". Each link has a
different Italian scene created with tiny multi-colored tessera and each
is a work of art. Not a single tessera is missing and the designs are
all lovely scenes with nice color graduations. In all probability this would have been a souvenir of
a grand Victorian era European tour.
View #V33684

VICTORIAN St Mark mosaic
brooch in gold aventurine, 1-1/2".
View #V34681

VICTORIAN micro-mosaic locket pendant with aqua background and daisy motif,
wonderful colors, set in 15 carat yellow gold , 1-1/2" by 1-1/3" pendant with
1/3" loop. #Vdc

VICTORIAN 9 carat yellow
gold mosaic earrings with dangles, 2-7/8". The mosaics are set into a 9
carat gold frame and then polished to give them a glass-smooth finish
that is lovely and very high quality, circa 1900.

VICTORIAN micro-mosaic buckle circa 1900 with aqua background and daisy
motif, wonderful colors, set in gold tone jeweler’s metal.Similar pieces
can also be seen in the book, "Warman’s Jewelry" 2nd Edition by Christie
Romero on page 49, where she dated it 1800-1900. #Vdc2

floral 1" round pin in soft pastel colors circa 1900.
View #Y18684

VICTORIAN micro mosaic set in aventurine heart pendant with the winged
lion, symbol of St Mark, circa 1860, heart is 1-1/4".
View #V29902

floral 1" round pin in soft pastel colors circa 1900.
View #V24459

VICTORIAN Made in Italy
mosaic pin circa 1900, 1". View

MOSAIC 1-1/4"
pendant on an 18" chain, circa 1900.
View #Y21595

MOSAIC brooch marked on the
back "Italy", 5/8".
View #Y27301

MOSAIC heart shaped dangle earrings with
costume pearls around each and hooks for pierced earrings, 2-1/2" total length and the
heart is 5/8" wide. Each heart has white and yellow daisies surrounded by
tiny glass pearls.
View #Q40098

VICTORIAN mosaic brooch in the dumbbell
shape showing doves, flowers and leaves set in silver, 2-1/3" by 5/8".
There are a few tiny pieces missing and one white piece that sits above the
rest, but they cannot be seen except upon close examination.
View View #V38227

ITALY mosaic necklace with teardrop-shaped
drops suspended from round pieces, wearable length 16-1/2 and the longest
drop is 1-5/8".
View #Q40211


There are two kinds of inlay techniques which have been practiced in
Italy for centuries, created in two different cities with two
different matières:

Pietra dura,
in Italian, means "hard stones", so the inlays of portraits,
flowers, insects, or landscapes originally created in Florence, were
conceived with thin slices of semi-precious malachite, lapis,
aventurine, or lapis- so closely fit together that the edges are
flush and indiscernible. See European Designer Jewelry
(chapter on Italian jewelry) or Warman’s Jewelry
for examples and more information.

Intarsia is
mosaic work inlaid with glass tesserae, minuscule glass
cubes, which imitate in miniature the glorious Byzantine mosaics of
the Basilicas of Ravenna and Venice, Italy. Roman artists were
known in the 19th century for working with the glass smalti
from Murano, producing jewelry which targeted the tourist
trade. The smaller the elements, and the more shadings represented,
the finer the portraits. As the technique coarsened in the 20th
century, the holes between the tesserae were filled with
wax to level out the surface. This wax application was omitted
altogether, saving time, (and lowering quality) for the
mass-production tourist trade.

This information is courtesy of Ginger Moro, author of the book European Designer Jewelry.

1" round brightly colored pin, circa 1950.
View #Y15030

Made in Italy mosaic bar pin with black border, 1-1/2".

MOSAIC 1-1/2" brooch.
View #Y23962

MOSAIC Italian mosaic necklace
with flowers on each link, circa 1950, 15-1/2" by 5/8".
View #Q37334

MADE in ITALY aqua mosaic
necklace with lovely little roses and daisies, a tour de force in lovely colors, 17" by 5/8".
View #V34991

MOSAIC necklace with pendant, marked "Made in
Italy", 19-1/2" long with 2-1/2" front drop. This is a
very unusual necklace with lots of color and design decorated links,
circa 1920. View

MOSAIC earrings with red, blue, gray and white tessera set in gold tone
circa 1950, 3/4".
View #Y61603

MOSAIC cross pendant
with orange, yellow, blue and white tessera set in gold tone, 1-7/8"
pendant on 16" gold filled chain.
View #Y61599

MOSAIC earrings with cloud background with red
roses, blue forget-me-nots set in gold tone, circa 1950, 7/8".
View #Y61604

MOSAIC diamond shaped brooch, yellow,
green, white and red tessera set in
gold tone, 1-7/8". View #Y61600

MOSAIC early 1900s oval brooch
with blue, aqua, red, lavender, green and white tessera set in brass, marked "Italy"
on the back,
1-1/2". View #Y61601

MOSAIC brooch, black background with yellow and
white flowers and green leaves set in silver tone, marked "Italy" on
the back, 1-5/8".
View #Y61598

and white mosaic center 2-1/4" pin and 1-1/8" earrings.
View #S23505

and tiger stripe brooch.
View #X23991

MOSAIC oval pin, blue grey with red and yellow flowers,
circa 1955, 1-1/8".
View #Y61941

MOSAIC real mosaic made in
Italy brooch and earrings, blue forget-me-nots on a orange background,
brooch 1-1/2" earrings 1". View
MOSAIC brooch in green with
colorful roses and forget-me-nots, on original card, brooch 1-3/4" by
1-1/3". #Q63729
MOSAIC real mosaic made in
Italy brooch and earrings, flower bouquets on a blue background, brooch
1-1/4" earrings 1". View

Italian oval earrings with sage green, pink, red and white set in
gold tone, 3/4" by 5/8" clip backs.