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    Sale 7445

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 233

    A SOUTH ITALIAN MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND GOLD-INLAID TORTOISESHELL 'PIQUE' DISH

    NAPLES, SECOND QUARTER 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SOUTH ITALIAN MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND GOLD-INLAID TORTOISESHELL 'PIQUE' DISH
    NAPLES, SECOND QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
    Of oval-shaped outline, decorated to the centre with a pastoral scene with a shepherd and angels in the sky, flanked to either side by buildings, the shaped rim decorated with scrolling acanthus, minor losses
    10½ in. (26.5 cm.) x 8 in. (20 cm.)


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    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.' The technique of piqué is thought to have originated at the end of the 16th century in Naples. Horn or tortoiseshell was softened in boiling water with olive oil. When soft, a design of mother-of-pearl, gold or silver strips or pinpoints was impressed.
    Signed pieces include an inkstand in the Wallace Collection (Inv. no. XXIIIA 35) by Sarao; a cabinet in the Royal Collection in England, which is signed 'DE LAURENZIE F' and an inkstand by Nicolaus Storace, sold by Lord Rothschild at Christie's London, 12 May 1970, lot 40.R

    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.
    From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.


    Provenance

    Christie's, London, 2 December 1998, lot 6.