This unusual compact has several very interesting elements.
First is that the center landscape is signed and done in a luster type enamel over a machine engineered background (same as back side). It is possibly a foil technique. The turquoise border around the landscape is enamel over a different (guilloche'd) machine engineered background. The signature consists of 2 initials. The first initial is "W" which is very clear. The second initial is unclear, but might be a "D" or an "A" or the roman numeral II. Then there is the opaque narrow black edging and the natural silver edging. The side of the compact is on a checkerboard engineered background! It too, is enamelled.
Interesting, complex, and beautifully executed. The inside lid has a mirror (light oxidation spots on it that won't come off but are not blackened). The interior is gold washed. It tests for silver and there are touch marks on the inside bottom and along the upper edge of the lid along with the numbers "238" impressed on the inside bottom.
Most likely French enamel work. The enamel painting is done in a method called "grisaille". This technique allows the artist to achieve a sense of depth and perspective which is most appropriate to the scene on this compact. Grisaille work is usually seen in black and white on a darker metal base such as copper. Seeing it done here in just shades of blue is most eye catching and appealing.
The quality of the painting is extremely good as well. It stands up well under 10x magnification where you can see the brushstrokes and each blade of grass and each leaf on the tree.
There is a swan's down powder puff with it as well. Condition is excellent with no damage to the enamel work. 2" diameter and 1/2" deep.
Item ID: twt2298
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