Museum quality large French Limoges kiln-fired enamel casket, 5 large panels both convex and shaped in copper. Definitely done in the grisaille manner of the Renaissance French enamelists, 1500s, 1600s like Jules Laudin. Jean le Court, Pierre Courteys, but I believe this rare item is from first half of 1800s. Very heavy, the framework is in bronze. Very much a Renaissance look throughout. I have in mind the story played out on top and front figural panels might be that of Charlemagne. Cape, blue royal sash, white hair and big white horse, the figure in dominance does seem to be him, or his story. Lots of photos, linger over them to enjoy the exquisite details. Kiln-fired enamels are truly the most arduous works of art - spectacular work of a great Master, but I have not yet found a signature. I've done kiln-fired enamel, and for one to create something like this, an entire lifetime of apprenticeship to a Master, then becoming a Master is in evidence. Large at 9 1/2" x 7 1/2" at largest measurement of frame, each panel, were it removed and framed, would sell high and probably bring more than we're asking for this truly incredible find. I have never seen one as beautifully crafted and in such a large size. The interior is lined, or perhaps relined in 1800s, a crimson silk nap velvet fabric and is complete. The working lock is slightly finicky, loose, but it is intact and with the original key - also quite amazing. Look at the Renaissance enamels of the men mentioned to see what I mean about the manner and quality of the work. I've included a sculpture of Charlemagne just for your comparison. If any of you curators watching can identify the name of the Limoges artist whose work this is, please email me. It might be a while before I'm in the Louvre again. Yes, I did find this one in France, of course.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. To have a casket this large and with 5 richly worked plaque of copper, kiln-fired enamel is remarkable. That there is so little imperfection is that and more. I have put an "x" at the point of flaw, upper right or back right of lid, where the bronze has sustained a small dent. Under black light, and close inspection, I can see that what appears to be undamaged, does show a small area of enamel restoration in that spot. Otherwise, all panels or plaques remain excellent and free of chips, cracks, damage. The bronze framework may well have once been silver plated. I gave it a quick clean, and it appears it will brighten to high bronze color and finish if one wishes to have it, and will polish a bit more. I think its age and presentation is just truly fabulous, just as it is. RARE rare treat, this one!