Near-pristine little antique French kiln-fired enamel jewelry casket, mid-1800s, Likely made for TAHAN, which is a name synonymous with luxury goods in Paris, 19th century, though this one does not have an engraved signature like some do. Most agree that these enamels were done by enamelists in Sevres, France, for TAHAN. It's true that Sevres enamels have this look - a bit of a cross between Bresson enamels with raised jewel-like dots, and Limoges enamels. 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 for age and type, with only one very tiny rim chip that all but disappears under the framework - visible in our images at about the 1 o'clock position on top panel of box. The enamel is quite like porcelain once the kiln melts it into this glassine finish, and it's about 1-2mm thick above a convex plaque of copper, or in the case of the base on this one, the entire oval of the box. It is rare to find these old ones that don't have a little damage to the enamel somewhere, or missing a raised enamel 'jewel' dot here or there. This one is superb, truly. Interior is original old silk with deep padded cotton, and you can see that the silk of the interior remains in very good condition. Ornate cabriole legs and lots of 'jewels' in those raised enamel dots. A real beauty
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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