Big hopes for Italian micro-mosaic

An early 19th-century Italian large micro-mosaic panel is just one of the treasures to go under the hammer in an upcoming sale in Yorkshire in April.

Measuring 23cm by 30cm, the finely detailed panel depicts the Temple of Vesta and is unsigned. It is mounted in an ornate gilt frame that measures 45.5cm by 53cm.

The micro-mosaic panel comes from a private collection in Southport and carries a guide price of £5,000-£7,000 in Elstob & Elstob’s Antiques sale on April 5.

The Temple of Vesta was an ancient Roman shrine dedicated to the goddess of the hearth, the remains of which are found in the southeast of the Roman Forum beside the Atrium Vestae.

Serving as the temple of the Vestal Virgins – the priestesses dedicated to Vesta – the Temple of Vesta housed an eternal flame, which represented the everlasting nature of the Roman state. If the flame were extinguished, this would indicate bad fortunes for Rome.