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Antique Battersea Kiln-fired Enamel Snuff or Patch, Jewelry Box, Casket #2
While there is a possibility this is a mid-1800s Samson "replica", we think it's the earlier original 1700s Battersea enamel work. In fact, the Samson "copies" or early to mid-1800s reproductions of earlier porcelains and enamels and sculptures were of such fine quality, they are valued at or nearly at the price of the older originals which often are of slightly lower quality than the Samson versions. That said, what we have is an exquisite kiln-fired enamel work of art, not a chip or crack nor hairline to detract from its beauty or value. A wonderful patch or snuff box, late 1700s to very earliest 1800s. Bright ornate framework/fitting is in excellent condition with working complete hinge and a clasp that holds closed well.
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.
Very good to excellent condition, as noted above and in our images. The one flaw to note is that we missed getting the surface of this beautiful box cleaned a little better than it shows. It is now done. It's amazing how much more I can see once my photographer does his work, enlarges the items (sorry). Of course, even as it is, it's a fabulous item. So rare to find these old ones without any loss to the kiln-fired enamel work. I also have a matching perfume flask upright box, same artist's work, sold separately and shown with this box in our final image. You'll want both, I'm sure.
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San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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