FROM THE WEBSITE of MosaicSmalti:
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in St. Louis, MO, contains one of the largest mosaic collections in the world. Mosaic installation began in 1912 and was finally completed in 1988. The mosaics collectively contain 42 million pieces of glass in over 7000 colors, covering 83,000 square feet. Wow!
…The majority of the mosaics were created by the Ravenna Mosaic Company of St. Louis, which was formed by August Wagner of Germany. When the mosaics were completed, the Ravenna Mosaic Company was left with an inventory of over 40,000 lbs. of Italian smalti in over 3000 shades…
In 2009, MosaicSmalti purchased this entire inventory - 40,000 lb. of Italian Smalti - and had it moved to our studios here on Cape Cod… The smalti arrived in over 1000 wooden drawers and 600 plastic buckets and it is currenlty stored in 3 storage units. Those who have visited the warehouses to see this smalti stash have coined them "Smalti Heaven" because that is truly what it is. Hundreds of shades of blues, never-before-seen shades of orange or red or pink, flesh tones to match every human on the planet. These one-of-a-kind colors, in limited amounts, are a joy to behold. They also open up a whole new world to those of us accustomed to limiting our palette to a mere 100-200 shades. (poor us!)