Kiln-fired enamel on copper, and in the signature style that we can identify as having come from the artisans of the Sevres community outside Paris, rather than the Limoges enamelists whose work took a different form. An enamel that shows all the attributes of those we see in museums and auction catalogues identifed as being Sevres enamel, having to do with the combination of semi-translucent bases with ornate scrolling gold decoration and raised 'jewels' in the process of enameling. This does not mean it is from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Sevres, by the way, but as with the Limoges decorative arts community, many arts came from the decorative arts community of Sevres, France, as well. This box is not porcelain. The raised dots are often seen on Sevres enamels. This type of enamel work is arduous - painstaking process of layering powdered enamel which has been suspended in a liquid medium, then kiln firing it to melt the enamels. It's only when the enamels melt under the extreme heat, becoming glassine and as you see it here, that the actual color emerges, so to learn this process takes many years and great patience and skill. Until it comes out of the kiln, all those brilliant colors look like so much muddy mauves and blues and grays globbed together - nothing at all like the finished product. Many mistake this work for being ceramic, but it is not. The enamel has more of a glass-like finish and texture, and like glass, it also can crack, chip, be demolished by mishandling, leaving the underlying copper (sometimes silver) metal exposed. This one could also be displayed as a pocket watch stand, as well. Do you notice the watch hook there on the interior lid? A lady's watch would hang there overnight and her jewelry would rest inside, at bedside or dressing table top. A delightful piece!
Very good condition. The interior base fabric lining is intact but the panel in the lid has gone missing. As noted in the images, there are some hairline cracks visible in the enamel but no losses that I can see. A lovely, brilliant little decorative piece! See pictures for measurements.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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