A stunning fine example of the reason these fabulous 19th century French enamel boxes are so sought after, this one rises above all in fine condition. These are usually referred to as Tahan, though only a few have the signature TAHAN Paris on the inner lock plate. They were, if you ask the French experts, kiln-fired enamels made by enamelists of Sevres, France, for the luxury goods maker/seller, TAHAN, Paris (one of the finest purveyors, on par with Tiffany here in the USA for 19th century quality, luxury). The enamel industry from Sevres is not the RMS or Royal Manufactory de Sevres you think of for porcelains, though the skill and talent as decorators working in slip or enamel crosses over between the two industries, therefore making it a simple art to reside among these artisans, after all. This box is not signed, but it is definitely of the finest quality enamel work, and consistent with those others we have and have had that were signed TAHAN, Paris. 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 throughout. Not a hairline or crack or chip anywhere, and not even a raised jewel dot missing. Even the old silk satin lining is in place, clean and lovely - really not much deterioration, even. Very fine!
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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