A museum quality late 1700s to earliest 1800s French bonbon or snuff box with a familiar image, but I can't immediately access it in my head or the internet, either one. Still, that aside, it is a lovely hand crafted kiln-fired enamel plaque miniature of a beauty, holding what we can assume isa pose over the fire of love atop a tomb of mourning - if only we had the full story, huh. Beautifully crafted, a most difficult process, indeed**. Full measurements are noted on the photos. Please review in full.
** About kiln-fired enamel work: 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 condition. The old box is splendid, but it does have an ancient restoration that can be seen with an 'x' in our images - a space that's had fill with a very dark brown or brownish-black faux something. Blends well, displays nicely, but it is not perfect. It is at the back at hinge are, impacting the upper lid only It is not a break away at hinge, but is a section that cracked away and has been filled in. Doesn't the much away from the beauty, but does figure into the excellent low price on this otherwise exceptionally fine snuff. I have not tested yet, but we usually find the mounts as sterling silver. I think there are marks that my photographer missed. I'll add to the listing photos if so.. This one has fine black line in enamel work, as well. Either a late 1700s bonbon box or snuff box, table size. Such a gem, and such a beautiful portrait.
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