Fabulous antique French jewel or jewelry casket with FIVE deeply convex enamel panels, hand painted bell flowers and gilt ormolu framework complete with cabriole style legs! 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 identified 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. A beautiful piece!
Very good condition. There are one or two very faint hairline cracks in the enamel, the lid also has chips to the enamel in four spots along the outside rim where the tabs underneath hold it in place. The interior has been relined with a pale cream colored moire silk. See pictures for measurements.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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