Mosaics were used since antiquity to decorate floors and walls. Coloured natural stones such as marble and limestone were cut into small cubes, called tesserae. The Romans made often use of mosaics, the designs ranging from fairly simple geometric patterns to extremely large and complex representational scenes.
The necklace can be worn as a sautoir or double. Peridot sugarloaf squares are combined here with golden citrine sugarloaf cut gems. Other color combinations are available: Swiss blue topaz with madeira citrine; amethyst with red garnet.
Sassi’s tesserae are sugarloaf cut gems, set in a gold bezel. In the ring, the gem-tesserae can rotate.
Citrine, madeira citrine, red garnet & amethyst
Swiss blue topaz, amethyst, madeira citrine & peridot
Swiss blue topaz, amethyst & peridot
“When I visited Monreale in Sicily for the first time in my early twenties, I was struck by the beauty and intensity of the colour and the gold. Thinking of the elegant mosaics on the small columns of Monreale, I created tesserae in gemstones.”
During the Middle Ages in Byzantium, an important innovation took place: instead of natural stones, coloured glass tesserae were created and clear glass sandwiching gold leaf to make golden tesserae. This technical innovation created a much more intense, colourful and luminous effect, many examples can still be admired around the Mediterranean today.