In the second half of the 17th-century, the mosaists of the Vatican workshop decided to work in freelance, since the basilica had just been unveiled. They created the first mosaics made of minuscule pieces, thus creating Mosaic Filati.
It was one of the later mosaists of the 18th-century, Giacomo Raffaelli, with this new method, he created in 1784 a copy of the Mosaïque aux Colombes(a masterpiece from Antiquity discovered in 1737 in the excavations of the villa Hadriana).
The technique was also used to realise « micromosaics », decorating little boxes, watchcases or snuffboxes, that were only a few centimeters wide. These micromosaics represented, at the beginning, neo-classic subjects and Roman monuments, flowers, animals and scenes of popular life. The doves on a pond certainly constitutes one of the favorite patterns of theses workshops.
At the time of Le Grand Tour, which saw european aristocracy visiting all the major Italians cities, especially Rome. Impressed by the "mosaici filati", it contributed to the development of mosaic workshops where souvenirs in micromosaic were createded.
There was a great spread of the "mosaici filati", firstly in Italy, then in all Western Europe as far as Saint Petersburg (Raffaelli becoming the Russian Czar's adviser) or even in Istanbul, as can be seen in the Dolmabahce Palace, around 1853-1856.