Superb! The marks around the sterling rim that surrounds the enamel panels (2) of this immaculate antique evening bag/purse are Austrian, though many think of this type of enamel work as being French guilloche. I suspect the enamel work is also that of a Vienna artisan/jeweler or goldsmith, and it's so finely accomplished, it certainly bespeaks his or her level of mastery of this very difficult and time consuming art. The kiln-fired enamels like this require many many hours of work and at the hands of a master who has many many years of experience with the demanding process. The one you see here is truly a masterpiece, as you can see. The cartouche enamel is that of a Romantic Era genre scene, reminiscent of the 1700s works by Fragonard and Boucher among others. The bag is, however, 1880-1920, likely 1900-10, and is in remarkably good condition for its age. It is obvious that it was well treasured. Superb old one, similar in age, origina and style to the one we recently offered and over which so many of you were drooling. Bibs out! This one is truly worth it.
Very good to excellent condition, with the slightest evidence of use or wear showing as a tiny scratch or 2 on the surface of the enamel - nothing more. Interior is in fine condition right down to the old original matching leather-clad mirror. A superb evening purse for the very sophisticated collector!
ENAMEL NOTE: 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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