• 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 306

    A LOUIS XVI ENAMELLED GOLD BONBONNIÈRE SET WITH A CAMEO

    BY JOSEPH-ÉTIENNE BLERZY (FL. 1768-1806), MARKED, PARIS, 1785, WITH THE SECOND CHARGE MARK OF HENRI CLAVEL 1782-1789, THE CAMEO BY GIUSEPPE GIROMETTI (ROME, 1779-1851), SIGNED IN GREEK LETTERS, CIRCA 1830

    Price Realised  

    A LOUIS XVI ENAMELLED GOLD BONBONNIÈRE SET WITH A CAMEO
    BY JOSEPH-ÉTIENNE BLERZY (FL. 1768-1806), MARKED, PARIS, 1785, WITH THE SECOND CHARGE MARK OF HENRI CLAVEL 1782-1789, THE CAMEO BY GIUSEPPE GIROMETTI (ROME, 1779-1851), SIGNED IN GREEK LETTERS, CIRCA 1830
    Circular box, the independent cover set with a circular sardonyx cameo, finely carved with Hebe and Jupiter, within a white band of intaglio relevato, the sides and base enamelled in translucent royal blue on a wavy guilloché ground and scattered with gold paillon stars within borders of roses alternating with laurel leaves, the sablé gold borders set with garlands of transluscent green enamelled leaves and opalescent beads
    3¼ in. (83 mm.) diam.


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    Giuseppe Girometti was one of the most celebrated gem and medal carvers of his period. On the command of Canova, he was employed by the Papal Mint from 1822 onward. Other notable patrons of the artist included Tsar Alexander I, the Grand-Duke of Tuscany, the King of Sardinia, King George IV of England, and Prince Borghese.
    For more detailed information on the artist, see Michel Duchamp's articles in the Revue du Louvre, no. 5, 1990, pp. 398-401, in the Bulletin de la Société française de Numismatique, February 1991, pp. 28-31, in the Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen in Baden-Württemberg, 30, 1993, pp. 77-87, in The Medal, 24, Spring 1994, and in the Revue de Gemmologie AFG, 129, December 1996, p. 7.
    Mr Duchamp dates the present cameo about 1830 and points out that Girometti used the subject of Zeus and Hebe for two other earlier cameos, one, unsigned and executed at the end of the 18th Century for Lord Darnley, and another, also signed in Greek letters but en creux, carved about 1810. Christie's is indebted to Mr Michel Duchamp for his invaluable help in cataloguing the present cameo in 1997.

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    Provenance

    Christie's, Geneva, 21 May 1997, lot 283.