A charming petit French kiln-fired enamel jewelry casket just 3.25" x 2.25" at the feet. With loads of enamel work on all 5 of the convex copper plaques, it's a jewel all on its own. The artisans working in kiln-fired enamels in the communities of Sevres, and of Bresse, France made very similar works and it's hard to know for certain which produced this one. The raised enamel jewel-dots make me think Bresse. In any case, the origin is one or the other, and the charm of the box is immense in opposition to its petit size.
Very good condition for age and type. This is a small one and we've blown it up to massive size so you can examine the 2 very tiny chips on the rim of the enameled panel in the lid. You see the ones I mean, along the edge that is to the hinge? There are a couple of flaws on this one, but the size and the jeweling are so brilliant and lovely, we couldn't pass it by. There's a fine tight hairline for about an inch across that lid panel, as well. Nothing to report on the other 4 individually crafted panels. A lovely old one. The old interior lining is intact as you see it and in good form, complete with the old piping.
This process, which I've written about many times, is one only accomplished with the skill of years and years of practice. The enamel powders are various shades of muddy mauve, taupe, blues, not the least resembling the color they will become once the kiln melts them into the glassine or porcelain like finished product you see here. So an artist is layering on stroke after stroke, working quite literally blind as far as the colors and spacing of the finished outcome he/she hopes to achieve. It is the memory that guides the hand in this art. And subject to such whims of nature and memory, it's always amazing to me that they come out with anything but a glob. I've tried this art, myself, and believe me, it's very difficult. I mostly get globs. The nature of the process is part of the reason why these old kiln-fired objects have such a following and bring the prices they continue to bring.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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