A mosaic panel of a chaffinch pecking at a leafy branch, Roman, late 18th Century.

This small panel was purchased by Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793) whilst on the Grand Tour.

It was originally thought to be by the noted Roman mosaicist Cesare Aguatti, from whom the earl acquired several other micro mosaics.

However, a label discovered on the reverse, confirms the artist as Raffaelli and carries the date 1786 in the 9th Earl’s distinctive hand.

An account accompanying a letter of 11th March 1775 from Thomas Jenkins, the dealer who secured other mosaics in the collection for the earl, mentions a payment of £50 ‘to Cesare Aguatti For Another Mosaick’ for which this originally seemed a candidate.

Jenkins, who acted for several Grand Tourists, considered that Aguatti ‘was certainly the best workman that ever was in Mosaick.’


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