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A LOUIS XVI GOLD-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL BONBONNIERE SET WITH A MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A LOUIS XVI GOLD-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL BONBONNIERE SET WITH A MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE

BY LOUIS-JOSEPH LASELLE-DORA (FL.1785-1790), MARKED, PARIS, 1786/1787, WITH THE SECOND CHARGE AND DECHARGE MARKS OF HENRY CLAVEL 1782-1789, THE MICROMOSAIC ATTRIBUTED TO GIACOMO RAFFAELLI (1753-1836), ROME, CIRCA 1800

Details
A LOUIS XVI GOLD-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL BONBONNIERE SET WITH A MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE
BY LOUIS-JOSEPH LASELLE-DORA (FL.1785-1790), MARKED, PARIS, 1786/1787, WITH THE SECOND CHARGE AND DECHARGE MARKS OF HENRY CLAVEL 1782-1789, THE MICROMOSAIC ATTRIBUTED TO GIACOMO RAFFAELLI (1753-1836), ROME, CIRCA 1800
circular gold-mounted tortoiseshell box, the detachable cover set with a micromosaic plaque depicting a colourful butterfly perched on a small branch within a landscape, within a red pellet and black rectangle micromosaic border
2 15/16 in. (75 mm.) diam.
Provenance
Finarte, Milan, 16 December 1998, lot 63.
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

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Lot Essay

Giacomo Raffaelli (1753-1836) worked in both the Vatican workshops as well as his own atelier in the Piazza di Spagna, where the numerous mosaic workshops were clustered to take advantage of travellers on the grand tour. Extensively patronised by Pope Pius VI (1775-1799) and credited by Moroni as the 'caposcuola del mosaico in piccolo' in his Dizionario di erudidizione storia ecclesiastica, Venice, 1847-1860, Raffaelli's micromosaics are characterised by their sophistication of tonal modulation and smalti filati, as well as by the sense of motion and naturalism that are instilled in the compositions.
Butterflies were a popular subject for artists working in micromosaics and several examples have been sold by Christie's in recent years. These have included one from the Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Collection, Christie's, London, 11 April 2002, lot 894, and one from the property of Diana Keggie, Christie's, South Kensington, 30 November 2005, lot 136. For another butterfly micromosaic by Giacomo Raffaelli see D. Petochi, I mosaici minuti Romani, Florence, 1981, p. 111, pl. 33.

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