The scent of flowers

Antique Pietra Dura panel from Florence in a vintage gold setting, circa 1870

Flower motifs have been extremely popular in jewellery design throughout the centuries. Similar to a bouquet of flowers, they were an expression of emotions such as affection and love, but unlike their organic cousins, they never wilted. Every era has used blossoms and, of course, their forms have been varied according to the tastes of the time. Few blossoms, however, are as beautiful, as colourful and as true to life as those executed in the Pietra Dura technique. This enchanting brooch is a particularly fine example of this typically Florentine type of jewellery. Against a black background, delicate inlays of colorful semi-precious stones form a graceful floral bouquet of rose, forget-me-not, lily of the valley and pansy. It appears so realistic that one would involuntarily want to smell it and would not be surprised if the work actually exuded a beguiling fragrance. Pietra Dura jewellery has been a popular souvenir of every visit to Florence since the Renaissance. Especially in the 19th century, many travelers brought these small works of art from Florence back home. Probably in the luggage of a traveller, our bouquet also arrived in the cool north. Made in the years around 1870, the Pietra Dura plaque was given a new setting of 18-carat yellow gold in the 1960s, which complements it beautifully. Without question, the Florentine Mosaic is a true collector's item - but at the same time, a piece of jewellery that continues to delight today and is just waiting to be worn.

Pietra Dura (it. "hard stone") is a traditional craft from Florence, in which pictures and ornaments are composed of platelets of hard stone. Unlike the classical mosaic art of coloured cubes or pins, the Pietra Dura process uses precisely adapted shaped pieces, which are cut according to the corresponding fields of the preliminary drawing. This creates particularly resistant, durable decorative surfaces. The heyday of the Pietra Dura craft in Florence was in the 16th century, when not only the famous Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo was decorated, but also numerous tables, pieces of jewellery, altars and in fact every conceivable object was decorated with this elaborate and costly technique. But even today, at 78 Via degli Alfani, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure is a workshop that specializes solely in the production of works of art using this technique. Pietra Dura jewellery has been a popular souvenir of every visit to Florence since the Renaissance. Especially in the 19th century, during the era of the Grand Tour, young noblemen from Northern Europe brought back pieces from their extensive travels in Italy to show the beauty and artistry of Italy to those at home.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.