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    Sale 7806

    Lord St. Helens and Sir William FitzHerbert The Collections of a Diplomat and a Courtier

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 523

    A LOUIS XVI ENAMELLED GOLD TOOTHPICK CASE

    BY PIERRE-DENIS HAORT (FL. 1771-1793), MARKED, PARIS, 1777/1778, WITH CHARGE AND DISCHARGE OF JEAN-BAPTISTE FOUACHE 1774-1780, LATER STRUCK WITH THE MARK FOR OLD WORK OF HENRY CLAVEL 1781-1783

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LOUIS XVI ENAMELLED GOLD TOOTHPICK CASE
    BY PIERRE-DENIS HAORT (FL. 1771-1793), MARKED, PARIS, 1777/1778, WITH CHARGE AND DISCHARGE OF JEAN-BAPTISTE FOUACHE 1774-1780, LATER STRUCK WITH THE MARK FOR OLD WORK OF HENRY CLAVEL 1781-1783
    An oblong box, the cover, sides and base with panels enamelled in translucent blue on a wavy guilloché ground, the cover centred with a green, carnelian and white foliate motif on circular sablé reserve, framed by an opaque blue and white taille d'épargne border, enclosed in a band enamelled with translucent carnelian beads alternating with translucent green foliage on frosted ground, the base similarly enamelled, the side pilasters enamelled with translucent green and carnelian floral motifs, the interior of the lid set with a mirror
    3 5/8 in. (93 mm.) wide


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    This toothpick box, dated circa 1781-3, may have been acquired by Alleyne FitzHerbert whilst in Paris between 1782 and 1783. Having started his diplomatic career in Brussels in 1777, FitzHerbert was despatched to Paris in 1782 to represent the King at the negotiations which were eventually to bring to an end the American Revolutionary War. There he came into contact with Benjamin Franklin, a man whose links to Derby Lunar Society luminaries John Whitehurst and Dr. Erasmus Darwin cemented a close relationship between him and FitzHerbert. FitzHerbert's skill as a negotiator set him apart as an able diplomat, and earned him rapid promotion, thereafter being sent to Russia as envoy to Catherine the Great.

    Ida, daughter of Sir William FitzHerbert, 4th Bt., records in 1887 that Alleyne FitzHerbert was also presented with the miniature of Louis XVI (lot 502) for his role in the negotiations in Paris.

    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

    Probably acquired by Alleyne FitzHerbert, Baron St. Helens (1753-1839), in Paris circa 1782-3.


    Literature

    Catalogue of Pictures and Curios at Tissington Hall, 1887, by Ida, daughter of Sir William FitzHerbert, 4th Bt., as a 'Jewelled Sévres toothpick box'