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made in Florence

Postcard of Picture.
© National Museums Scotland


This mosaic picture, showing a woman holding a glass of wine, was purchased from 'Pierre Bazzanti et fils' of Florence in 1878. It cost twenty pounds - a very large sum at the time.

It is an example of 'pietre dure'. This literally means 'hard stones' and refers to semi-precious stones which have been cut and pieced together, like a jigsaw puzzle, to create a picture or design. The frame is made of ebony.

'Pietre dure' is an expensive art form and was used to demonstrate high status and power. It developed in Florence with financial support from the Medici family, which ruled the city until 1737. Eighteenth-century grand tourists could acquire caskets and other items from private workshops or have a piece commissioned from the court workshop. Among the list of the best makers in the nineteenth century are Pietro Bazzanti (1842-81) and Enrico Bosi.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-102-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1878.47.1
Date: 19th century
Around 1878
Material: Marble mosaic; ebony frame
Dimensions: 7.88" x 5.50"
Subject: Stone : miscellaneous
Where: Italy, Florence
Description: Picture in marble mosaic of a girl testing wine, in an ebony frame: Italian, Florence, 19th century
  • Evans, G. Souvenirs From Roman Times to the Present Day. Edinburgh: NMS Publishing Ltd, 1999, pp 32-4. 
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