Something old, something blue - a bride's souvenir? We are quite certain the silversmith for the hinged mount is Karl Packeny, and date is 1815-58. We have no signature, however, for that exquisite enamel work but it helps us date it to early 1800s. A true masterpiece, it seems likely to have been a special gift as commemoration of a wedding. The icons include a pair of doves, garlands encircled by a rose festooned ring. Raised gold jeweling on top, further small icons which would have had meaning to the couple or ceremony. You see Cupid's bow, unstrung, which represents true love already found. Bottom of the box is enameled in cobalt hand decorated in garlands, wreaths, gold and silver. Even the bottom is fully enameled, as is that elegant interior. More personal items included in the iconographical interior decoration. It is the size of a snuff box or largish patch box, but there is such evidence of having been treasured well and no stain whatsoever, nor cracks that would indicate use. If it were for jewelry, perhaps wedding rings, there are no interior scratches which would indicate it.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The kiln-fired enamel work is truly the most arduous and difficult art to master. I've tried it several times as a graduate student. It truly is nearly impossible to achieve a work like this. Apprentices, perhaps 10 years or more to Master, and another 30 years of exacting experience might be able to create a piece this fine. Measurements are noted on the photos. No chips, no cracks, one spot visible at an angle of light, with a loupe, would indicate a small restoration to enamel behind/below the hinge, but beautifully done. See images of the entire little museum piece, all angles. We've pointed out where the tiny tiny marks can be found and shown photos of them. Also the tiny restoration. It is enamel (porcelain powders) painted on copper and melted in multiple firings in a kiln to melt those powders in layers. Amazing work! From my own collections.
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