Designed as an annular mottled black and white hard stone box embellished with a micro mosaic plaque to the lid, depicting Hercules 'en grisaille' performing his seventh task and capturing the Cretan bull, within a gold border, circa 1800.
Note: The knowledgable choice of headstone in both this box and the one with a goldfinch, to reflect the colourations within the micro mosaic (here in whits and greens, the bird in blacks and white) may be no mistake. Many of these plaques were bought un-mounted and taken back as gifts or mementos but many were mounted within tobacco boxes or framed in Rome. Raffaelli's workshop was known as a general meeting place for a variety of antique dealers and tradesmen and he was known for his work in lapidary as well as mosaics and had an excellent knowledge and network of stone sources at his finger tips.
Literature: Jeanette Hanisee Gabriel, Micromosaics Private Collections, 2016, P.162 plate 123 and P.163 plate 124 for two examples of a micro mosaic 'en grisaille' seen set into a box.
Anna Maria Massinelli, Giacomo Raffaeli (1753 -1836) Maestro di stile e di mosaico, Inprogress S.r.l. 2018, P.20 plate 14 for an example of a micro mosaic 'en grisaille' set into a very similar hard stone box. P. 216-217 plates 210 - 216 for six examples of micro mosaics 'en grisaille'.