Collected over 4 decades, these 18th century pocket 'necessaire' have fascinated me and won my heart. My collection is all coming to market now, and this is one of my favorites from the collections. A superb c.1750s Kiln-fired enamel etui perfectly kept and missing only a writing stylus which likely had one threaded end to which the one round tool would have mounted (as a handle), and a tweezer. The remaining implements inside are the originals, and include a kiln-fired enamel handled pocket knife, a 2-leaf writing tablet, a pair of 18k gold handled scissors, an 18k gold toothpick and ear wax spoon combination tool. The rivets on knife and tablet also test 18k gold. I did not test the inner fitting into which they all fit, but it certainly has more the look of karat gold. In total, the etui and contents represent a true museum piece. A deep cobalt blue enamel is further enhanced with hand applied raised gold enamel work in a decorative manner leaning to Chinoise. These were a mainstay of noble society throughout Europe and UK, Georgian era - King Louis XV to XVI era, France. "Necessities" tucked into a vest pocket for travel. Full measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. I find no chips nor cracks on the stunning old enamel work, and the etui opens and closes smoothly and without flaw. There are no flaws notable on the pieces that remain with the etui apart from age to the steel parts of the scissors, which show some natural corrosion of centuries, and the tip of one blade is blunted. The knife is particularly beautiful with an 18k gold rivets and inlay stringing which I would also expect to be 18k gold wire. There are no flaws at all in the deep cobalt blue enamel, and the knife blade remains very sharp and with very little corrosion, a minuscule nick on the blade near the point. Remarkable set in stunning condition. I have loved it long while it has stayed with me. Is it your turn next?