A Return to the Grand Tour: Micromosaic Jewels from the Collection of Elizabeth Locke
Acclaimed jewelry designer Elizabeth Locke first became fascinated with micromosaics when she lived in Florence, Italy. Now a lost artform, micromosaics were once popular mementos made into jewelry, boxes, and paper weights, and sold to travelers on their Grand Tour through Italy. The delicate jewels passed out of fashion toward the end of the 19th century. Years after her sojourn in Florence, Locke rediscovered micromosaics at the Portobello market in London. She purchased her first one in 1989—a small rectangle of the Temple of Vesta—and re-set it in her distinctive neoclassical style using hand-hammered 19K gold and cabonchon stones. From there her collection grew and now comprises more than a hundred micromosaics, most of which have been mounted as precious jewels. A Return to the Grand Tour: Micromosaic Jewels from the Collection of Elizabeth Locke will be on view at the Gibbes Museum of Art, January 17th through May 3rd.