22 May 2001
A LOUIS XVI PARCEL-ENAMELLED GOLD AND HAIR BOÎTE-À-SECRET
by Paul-Nicolas Menière (fl. 1775-1826), marked, Paris, 1775/1776, with the charge and discharge marks of Jean-Baptiste Fouache, the flange engraved 'Menierre Rue Moncomseille a Paris'
Oval box, the cover, base and four side panels set with blonde and brown hair under glass, the cover centred with an oval gold medallion enclosing a foliate two-colour gold monogram 'PLS' on a green moiré silk ground in a reeded gold mount, the medallion, secretly hinged at the top, springing open by a secret mechanism in the surrounding gold mount released by inserting a needle in a tiny hole at its base, the sablé gold mounts enamelled in translucent green with leaves and chased with foliage, rosettes and c-scrolls, the four side pilasters chased as Doric columns similarly hung with green enamelled foliate swags, the upper border of the sides chased with laurel, the lower border enamelled in translucent green with leaves
2 7/8 in. (73 mm.) wide
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous
Ahead of the sale of portraits of four different muses, we focus on the women the artist came to depend on so passionately