Christie’s has offered some of the most important gold boxes and objects of vertú made by renowned goldsmiths such as Johann Christian Neuber, Noël Hardivillers, Jean Fremin, Jean George, Jean Ducrollay, Joseph-Étienne Blerzy, Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette and Gabriel-Raoul Morel — all presented during the Exceptional sales, Private Collections and, twice a year, during The Collector sales in London, Paris and New York.
The category encompasses a wide variety of items such as snuffboxes, bonbonnières, patch boxes, presentation boxes, boîtes-à-portrait, boîtes à miniatures, pomanders, necessaires and spyglasses. Mostly made in gold and sometimes incorporating hardstones, enamel, precious stones, micro-mosaics, porcelain or miniatures, the precious decorative arts pieces represent masterpieces of invention and technical skill. Often used as currency due to their monetary value, these items combined practical purpose with the often more important social and diplomatic function of conferring social and diplomatic status to their owner.
The renewed international interest in these objects confirms their position as luxury accessories.