• Centuries of Style: Silver, Eu auction at Christies

    Sale 7800

    Centuries of Style: Silver, European Ceramics, Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes

    17 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 305

    A GEORGE III ENAMELLED GOLD BOÎTE-À-MOUCHES

    CIRCA 1780, LATER STRUCK WITH TWO FRENCH POST-1864 IMPORT MARKS FOR GOLD

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE III ENAMELLED GOLD BOÎTE-À-MOUCHES
    CIRCA 1780, LATER STRUCK WITH TWO FRENCH POST-1864 IMPORT MARKS FOR GOLD
    Cylindrical box, the hinged lid centred with a sepia on brown ground enamel medallion of a classical scholar, within opaque white enamel pellet border, surrounded by translucent orange enamel on laurel guilloché ground, the base similarly decorated with orange enamel on radiating brilliant-cut ground, the engine-turned sides with royal blue guilloché enamel, white champlevé borders, the inside of the lid set with a mirror, with fitted shagreen case
    1 7/16 in. (36 mm.) high; the case, 1¾ in. (44 mm.) high (2)


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    A number of boxes made in London at the turn of the 19th Century display distinctive sepia on brown ground enamelling. As can be seen on the present example, these scenes are often bordered in opaque white champlevé enamel and depict classicising figures in imitation of cameos. The fashion for this type of enamelling is attributed to the work of James Morisset, Louis and Simon Augustin Toussaint, William Charron and probably Gabriel Wirgman. The Gilbert Collection, now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, contains a similarly enamelled box of London manufacture from circa 1800 (C. Truman, The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes, Los Angeles, 1991, pp. 318-319, no. 110).

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    Provenance

    S.A.R. La Principessa Maria Gabriella di Savoia; Christie's, London, 27 June 2007, lot 7.