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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 106

    A SOUTH ITALIAN MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND GOLD-INLAID 'PIQUE' SNUFF-BOX

    NAPLES, MID-18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A SOUTH ITALIAN MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND GOLD-INLAID 'PIQUE' SNUFF-BOX
    NAPLES, MID-18TH CENTURY
    Of circular shape, the hinged lid depicting courtly-dressed figures with a castle in the background
    2¼ in. (5.5 cm.) diameter


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    The technique of piqué is thought to have originated at the end of the 16th century in Naples. As Lady Anne Miller commented in a letter of 1771, written from Naples: 'This city is famous for a manufacture of tortoiseshell, which they inlay curiously with gold, and are very ingenious at representing any object you choose.'

    Signed pieces include an inkstand in the Wallace Collection (Inv. no. XXIIIA 35) by Sarao; a cabinet signed DE LAURENZIE F in the Royal Collection in England; and an inkstand by Nicolaus Storace, sold by Lord Rothschild at Christie's, London, 12 May 1970, lot 40. The Rothschilds formed one of the greatest collections of piqué historically, both at Mentmore and at Waddesdon, the latter thoroughly discussed in G. de Bellaigue, The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor; Furniture, Clocks and Gilt-Bronzes, London, 1974, p.838.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Christie's, New York, 18 May 2006, lot 709.