N/A - "Neptune's cave" micromosaic snuff box

Neptune's cave micromosaic snuff box
micromosaic snuff box neptune's cave tivoli
Johann_Martin_Von_Rohden-The_Grotto_of_Neptune_in_Tivoli-700x568.jpg
"Neptune's cave" micromosaic snuff box
Neptune's cave micromosaic snuff box
micromosaic snuff box neptune's cave tivoli
Johann_Martin_Von_Rohden-The_Grotto_of_Neptune_in_Tivoli-700x568.jpg
"Neptune's cave" micromosaic snuff box
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N/A - "Neptune's cave" micromosaic snuff box

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A rare and exquisite round roman micromosaic plaque from the beginning of the 19th cent. depicting the Neptune's cave inside the Villa Gregoriana at Tivoli, mounted on the cover of a tortoiseshell, shagreen and silver snuff box bearing the French hallmarks from the 1830's.

Dimension cm 8 ca.

Excellent conditions, commensurate with age.

 

Neptune's Cave

Coming from the historical centre, just passing the Gregorian Bridge,
rebuilt like the original after the bombing of 1944 and erected by Gregory
XVI in 1826, we find "Villa Gregoriana" Park on its left. Under a dense
forest of gigantic and dark trees, near sombre and massive vestiges of
ancient constructions, on the edge of frightening depths, inside hard rocks
and steep crags, in the middle of green, small clearings gloriously lit by
the sun, myrtles lanes, craggy paths, steep alleys, eroded flights of steps
and small tunnels, wind and find their way, leading the visitor to the
discovery of the most varied and unexpected visions. In the upper paths,
there is a number of ancient memorial tablets, found during the
excavations to create the two Gregorian underground passages, as well as
some archaeological finds like columns and parts of statues from the near
necropolis, once located in the little public garden overlooking the
circular flower bed in front of Villa Gregoriana.
Today, the number of such memorial tablets - once very numerous -are
now very few because they have been stolen or removed to other
destinations. If we proceed down to the right, just after the entrance,
following the correct signs, we arrive to the end of the underground
passages, where the river hurls down to form the great fall, 120 mts. high.

Once that the water is let in, the fall appears to be horrid and enchanting at the same time, and it is among the most interesting in the World for the magnificent picture offered by the surrounding natural beauties. About 10 meters below, going along an impassable path, it is possible to reach the so-called "Ferro di Cavallo" (Horseshoe), made up by a little terrace, that juts out on the great water fall in a frightful way. From this point, we can
admire the whirling mass of water that seems to give the impression that
it is falling on the heads of people who are watching it, between a
deafening roar and the deep point where the waves land underneath,
between a cloud of white mist.
Coming back and descending to the central part of the Park, we come
across the Stipa Channel that was used in the past during the floods as an
outlet arm of the Aniene river; then, we find the "Grotta di Nettuno"
(Neptune Cave) and the "Grotta delle Sirene" (Sirens Cave), opened in the
course of many centuries by the violent and strong Aniene waters that
slowly corroded the rocks that still today reveal visions of impressing
chasms to the visitor's eyes. The Neptune Cave is reachable through the
Miollis Path, a tunnel in the heart of the rocks dug out by the French
General, Governor of Rome, in 1809. In order to illuminate this path,
Miollis had some window-openings built from which it was possible to bring
in some light to watch the magnificent external landscape. But
afterwards, in 1836, after the opening of the Gregorian underground
passages, which diverted the course of the Aniene river towards the great
artificial falls, a collapse occurred during the night between the 5th and
the 6th of February. Cardinal Rivarola decided to open a flight of stairs
and was the one who, among other things, ordered many different
varieties of plants to be put in the garden of "Villa Gregoriana".

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