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Frederick The Great Battle Box
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Price: £1,650.00
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Description:
A German Enamel Frederick The Great Battle snuff box depicting the Prussian War
Dimensions:
Height:
Width: 8cm
Length: 5cm
Circa: 1760
Condition: fine

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 1: Frederick The Great Battle Box – Buy Now – £1,650.00

Frederick The Great Battle Box
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Price: £1,650.00
BUY IT NOW

Description:
A German Enamel Frederick The Great Battle snuff box depicting the Prussian War
Dimensions:
Height:
Width: 8cm
Length: 5cm
Circa: 1760
Condition: fine

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 2: Berlin Silver Mounted Enamel Snuff Box – Buy Now – £880.00

Berlin Silver Mounted Enamel Snuff Box
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Price: £880.00
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Description:
An 18th Century Berlin Enamel snuff box, decorated to all sides in the chinoiserie taste with vignettes of figures, birds and flora, finished with gilt scrolls and blue dots on an ivory ground, the silver mounts bearing rubbed marks, Fromery.
Dimensions:
Height: 4cm
Width: 6cm
Length: 8.3cm
Circa: 1720
Condition: fine

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 4: French Enamel Hat Shaped Patch Box – Buy Now – £220.00

French Enamel Hat Shaped Patch Box
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Price: £220.00
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Description:
A pretty French enamel tricorn hat shaped patch box
Dimensions:
Height: 2cm
Width: 5cm
Length: 4.5cm
Circa: 1900
Condition: good

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 6: Swedish Silver and Enamel Powder Box – Buy Now – £1,650.00

Swedish Silver and Enamel Powder Box
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Price: £1,650.00
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Description:
Silver and enameled guilloche aquamarine Powder Box , lid set with an enamel miniature of two Nude women nestled in a flowery field, with punches Swedish and French imports
Dimensions:
Height:
Width: 8.4cm
Length:
Circa: 1900
Condition: good

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 7: A Scandinavian Plique-à-jour enamel boat – Buy Now – £2,750.00

A Scandinavian Plique-à-jour enamel boat
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Price: £2,750.00
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Description:
A fine plique a jour boat the base with red translucent enamel in the form of a Viking ship with plique a jour enamel around the base mount the underneath bearing the mark for Mauritius hammer.
Dimensions:
Height: 11.5cm
Width: 19.5cm
Length:
Circa: 1900
Condition: Very good condition no damage.

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 8: A Scandinavian Silver Mounted Plique à Jour Boat – Buy Now – £1,100.00

A Scandinavian Silver Mounted Plique à Jour Boat
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Price: £1,100.00
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Description:
A small and very sweet viking boat in fine condition
Dimensions:
Height:
Width:
Length:
Circa: 1890
Condition: Fine

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 9: Plique à Jour Boat – Buy Now – £19,800.00

Plique à Jour Boat
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Price: £19,800.00
BUY IT NOW

Description:
An extremely important plique- a -jour Viking boat by Marius Hammer This masterpiece is one of the largest boats known fully marked on the base, the interior with royal blue translucent enamel the rest in plique a jour enamel width spanning 37cm. Excellent no repairs or damage. Provenance: Private collection New York
Dimensions:
Height: 18cm
Width: 37cm
Length: 13cm
Circa: 1900
Condition: fine

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 10: Limoge Enamel Tazza – Buy Now – £4,400.00

Limoge Enamel Tazza
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Price: £4,400.00
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Description:
A magnificent Limoge enamel covered Tazza painted with scenes of Mermaids and Neptune, the interior with further scenes of Puti and centaurs, c1850
Dimensions:
Height: 28cm
Width: 18cm
Length:
Circa: 1870
Condition: good

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

Lot 11: Silver and Agate Cup – Buy Now – £2,200.00

Silver and Agate Cup
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Price: £2,200.00
BUY IT NOW

Description:
A Silver and agate cup, the two silver handles modelled as dragons, the silver mount around the top set with turquoise and emeralds, the base decorated in a similar fashion. Marks for Berthold Muller
Dimensions:
Height: 7.5cm
Width:
Length:
Circa: 1880
Condition: good

*Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Authenticated Internet Auctions shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of ageing.

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About Us

The Antique Enamel Company brings all the thrill of the auction room to life for everyone online, with our State of the Art website and specialised photography the experience you will get is one of totally confidence as if the articles are in your hand

Our Low Buyers premiums should also make you feel that your purchases stay within your comfort zone and our 360° photography puts the article on your desk armchair or wherever you’re browsing

We are so convinced that this is the future we are only selling online Viewing is now a pleasure, not a pain.

The Antique Enamel Company was founded in London by John Jaffa. John has been one of London’s premier dealers in 18th to early 20th century English and Continental enamels, gold boxes, Objects of Vertu, tort & pique items, musical bird boxes, silver cigarette cases, porcelain, desk seals, etui & sewing items, papier mâché, Fabergé and rare perfume bottles for the past three decades.

He has built private collections for individuals across the world and loaned prized acquisitions to Museums. John is recognized by his peers as having one of the most extensive collections in this field offered within a wide price range. Item Sourcing, As well as carrying an extensive range of fine enamels and other pieces, The Antique Enamel Company is also happy to source particular items for clients.

Vinaigrettes

Vinaigrettes

Vinaigrettes, popular from the late Eighteenth Century through to the end of the Nineteenth Century, were small containers used for holding various aromatic substances, usually dissolved in vinegar. By the Nineteenth Century, a variety of these perfume containers were on the market. The vinaigrette, a gilded metal box with a pierced, decorated interior grille, was used to hold sponges soaked in scented vinaigres de toilette (aromatic vinegar). The interiors were gilded to prevent the silver from staining. From 1800-1850 the boxes were manufactured in vast quantities and in various shapes and forms, many of the monogrammed, sometimes with the initials of the giver and recipient in a presentation inscription. The lids were sometimes decorated to commemorate important events, e.g. the death of Lord Nelson in 1805. Later they might depict specific houses or churches. Often the shapes were delicate and tasteful, reflecting the sophistication of the owner.

As with many personal antique items, the more novel the design and the more unusual the shape, the more desirable the vinaigrette. This development in design away from the standard rectangular and oval box to experimental shapes including books, wallets & satchels, nuts, eggs, watches, crowns and hearts to name a few, showcased the manufacturers’ skills and the owner’s or giver’s taste and status. These more unusual designs such as muscle shells and acorns have become very valuable to the collectors of today.

As designs became more experimental, so too did decorative features. During the Regency Period the grilles became more and more elaborate with intricate scrollwork, flowers and foliage. Other materials began to be used in addition to silver including gold, and many of the most desirable vinaigrettes had lids decorated with jewels or made out of polished agate, carnelian, onyx or other stones of interest.

Vinaigrettes were mostly worn around the neck by women for convenience – being able to quickly douse one’s self with scent or raise the preferred scents to the nose whilst travelling! They also proved useful in combatting ladies’ frequent fainting episodes caused by the wearing of tightly laced corsets.

However, they were as much a fashionable statement as they were a practical necessity.

Some of the finest examples from the era are demonstrated in the work of Nathanial Mills.

Viennese enamel

Viennese enamel

With a long history of the decorative arts industry, the Austrian capital of Vienna became a key centre of decorative enamelling in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. Major workshops by well-known silversmiths such as Bohm and Ratzersdorfer created elaborate confections in the ‘Ringstrasse’ taste, catering primarily to a burgeoning affluent clientèle and made largely for export.

Ornate display and novelty objects decorated with enamel proved ideal accents for the nineteenth century drawing room, particularly as table centrepieces or ‘Nefs’. Their subtle shadings with occasional eye-popping bursts of brilliant colour provided the perfect complement to similarly hued furnishings and wall hangings.

“Many works copied Renaissance designs, featuring rock crystal and lapis lazuli and illustrations and decorations drawing on classical mythology.” The rich painterly effects employed on Viennese enamels and drawn from the Rococco painters of the era, conformed to the contemporary Viennese taste for opulence. Whilst nefs were among the most dramatic of Viennese enamels, there was also demand for a myriad of other enamelled objects including lidded tankards, fanciful mantlepiece clocks, drinking horns, ewers and tazzas.

In the late Nineteenth Century and onwards, such was the popularity of Viennese enamels, the process of enamelling was taught in the Academy School of Art Craftsmanship which was connected to the Museum of Vienna under the patronage of Baron Felicien von Myrbach.

Perfume bottles

Perfume bottles

During the late Eighteenth Century and throughout the Nineteenth Century perfume or scent bottles became an established and fashionable accessory or even necessity of the well-dressed person of the day. Filled with sweet smelling salts or perfumes, these attractive bottles made in semi-precious stones, glass, porcelain and gold, were used as an aid to detract the nose from the odorous city streets and the ‘great unwashed’ of the times!

Some of the earlier artistic containers included Rococo designs usually including flowers, leaves, shells and scrolls and were synonymous with Marie Antionette. They were usually made of milk glass and painted with enamels.

As popularity surged in the Nineteenth Century, perfume bottles became more varied. They could be made from cut glass, silver overlay on glass, porcelain or crystal and opaline. Larger bottles were placed on dressing tables containing Eau de Toillette or Eau de Cologne, and smaller ‘throwaways’ (though hardly something anyone would actually want to throw away) that would be carried as a luxury accessory for use throughout the day.

Frequent decorative themes included love, music, dance, comedy, flowers, birds and animals.

The most beautiful scent bottles were decorated in enamel with intricate coloured designs in and around the oval shapes. The decoration also often included the application of tiny beads or half beads. The bottles generally were decorated in full on the tops and bottoms as they lay flat, with a simpler decoration on the two sides.

Rarer examples were spiral twist bottles which would have been even more expensive to produce, and the decoration was of equally high quality.

The Storp family of Germany owns one of the world’s most extensive and important perfume bottle collection, entailing more than 3,000 pieces spanning six thousand years of history.

Snuff boxes

Snuff boxes

The consumption of snuff or powdered tobacco rapidly increased in the Seventeenth Century and by the beginning of the Eighteenth Century it was acceptable for even ladies to inhale and became the approved tobacco product favoured by nobility.

By the late Seventeenth Century, ornate boxes were being produced to keep the snuff dry. As the trend for snuff flourished throughout Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Europe, so too did the elaborate enamel decorations of the snuff box.

Snuff boxes became major (often bespoke) essential, personal possessions made in a variety of materials, from gold and silver to tortoiseshell or horn. Small boxes were made for the pocket and larger, communal boxes were made for table use. Shapes were not only limited to simple rectangles. Porcelain containers resembling trunks were common, as were ovals. Some were even designed in the shape of shells.

Intricate enamel decorations adorned the most precious and desirable snuff boxes, depicting everything from miniature landscapes and bucolic scenes, to tiny portraits or grisaille cameos of their owners. Some of the most distinguished snuff boxes were the French tabatières, which were made from gold and set with diamond, amethysts and sapphires.

The Antique Enamel Company stocks a huge variety of snuff boxes that were manufactured all over Europe and Russia and range from the elaborate bejewelled pieces from the noblest echelons of society to the more affordable, but nonetheless beautiful and important boxes created for the more modest snuff taker.

English enamel

English enamel

The esteemed tradition of enamelling in England was established as early as the Nineth Century when the famous King Alfred Jewel, crafted from crystal with a hand painted enamelled plaque set underneath was made. The art of enamelling faded in England after the Middle Ages but was revived with astonishing beauty and popularity in the Eighteenth Century, after the French began to use painted enamels to decorate small items. This fashion was quickly adopted and developed in England, where the stunning colours and sophisticated designs caught the eyes of the luxury-loving aristocratic upper classes whose appetite for small, elegant and luxurious personal items ‘objets de vertu’ accelerated.

Most of the earliest English eighteenth century enamels were created in England’s first enamel factory, York House, established in Battersea in 1753. Although the factory was only operational for three years, the prolific amount and quality of enamel production was and remains a remarkable feat. These ‘Battersea Enamels’ became a synonym for English Georgian enamels. Today Battersea or York House Enamels are some of the most rare and desirable enamels on the market.

After the closure of York House in 1756, many of its enamellers and decorators travelled to various Staffordshire & Midlands metalworks including Bilston, Wolverhampton and Birmingham and continued to develop techniques, skill and artistry throughout the Eighteenth Century as demand for a myriad of personal items soared and prospered.

These cottage-industry workshops continued to develop enamel methods to decorate more and more objects for the luxury elite, from patch & snuff boxescandlesticksdesk sealsetuismusical bird boxes and perfume bottles. Due to these intricate, pretty decorative enamels, often depicting scenes of animals or flowers, these expensive enamels were as popular with children as they were with adults. Consequently, many of them are incredibly difficult to source as they have suffered the playful and careless little hands of children.

English enamels continued to thrive as objects of aspiration throughout the Eighteenth Century until the 1830s with the production ceasing in the 1840s. Despite a small revival of the industry in the 1970s, none of the more contemporary items were able to capture the essence of the earlier eighteenth century models.

Due to the rarity and precious nature of the antique eighteenth century English enamels, they remain exclusive objects of beauty. The Antique Enamel Company has developed an expert reputation and an extensive collection of these highly sought-after enamels and remains a byword in the sourcing of beautiful and exclusive enamels.

Browse the catalogue for one of the world’s largest selection of antique Eighteenth Century English enamels.

Porcelain

Porcelain

In the late Seventeenth Century ‘porcelain fever’ broke out across Europe. Princes and wealthy merchants were consumed by the passion to collect and use Asian porcelain. Imports from China and Japan were expensive and ownership was a tangible sign of prestige and taste. After many experiments and years later in the Eighteenth Century, Europe developed its own techniques and porcelain manufacture spread and dominated the production centres of taste throughout continental Europe.

Austrian Porcelain began in 1718 at Claudius Innocentius Du Papier’s factory together with key personnel from Meissen before it was taken over by Empress Maria Theresa in 1744. English porcelain became commercially successful in 1745 with the establishment of the Chelsea factory and later at Bow, in the Midlands, East Anglia and the West of England. Charming ornamental birds and animals for the middle class market became particularly popular.

The French goût chinois (Chinese taste) also gave way to a French national production of porcelain in the Eighteenth Century as demand amongst the nobility and wealthy bourgeoisie for porcelain decoration, dining wear, refined porcelain tea drinking and chocolate plates soared. Small factories such as Chantilly and Villeroy-Mennecy enjoyed noble patronage but it was Vincennes-Sèvres that achieved royal patronage and ownership and became the arbiter of style throughout Europe until the French Revolution, whereafter Limoges and the production of hard-paste porcelain took off.

German porcelain was first produced commercially at Meissen in 1710 but by the end of the Eighteenth Century, it became fashionable amongst German royalty to own a porcelain factory and they cropped up throughout the German states. Frederick the Great sometimes referred to himself as the ‘best customer’ of his Royal Porcelain Factory in Berlin, many of which were decorated with Rococo designs or Harlequin performances.

The Commedia dell’Arte formed one of the most distinctive subjects of porcelain collectables. This was a popular form of theatre throughout eighteenth century Europe, displaying colourful costumes and comic poses and gestures of the actors. Porcelain figurines were usually ornaments for tables.

Musical & bird boxes

Musical & bird boxes

The singing bird box or ‘boîte á oiseau chanteur’ originated in Geneva in the late Eighteenth Century, with its first design attributed to Pierre Jaquet-Droz. They were usually rectangular shaped boxes containing a miniature automaton singing bird concealed beneath an oval lid and activated by a lever. The French also used the more general term of ‘tabatière’.

The outer casing is a rectangular box that could be made of base metal, precious metal or tortoiseshell with an oval hole edged by a decorative metal bezel. The front of the box usually has a small slider that when pushed to the right, reveals the pop up of a small mechanical feathered bird that begins to turn from side to side, flap its wings and sometimes produces birdsong.

Another famed bird box maker Jean Frédéric Leschot joined forces with Jaquet-Droz to develop technology further, allowing variable pitch in bird song and furthering demand and popularity throughout Europe. By the end of the Eighteenth Century, bird boxes or musical tabatières were also being manufactured in France, Germany and England, all building on both the mechanical advances and the decorative intricacies of their origins.

The Swiss Brugiuer family gained great fame in miniature songbird mechanisms that were contained in richly decorated snuff cases by Genevan enamelists shch as Richter, Dufey and Procchietto. Charles Abraham Brugiuer resided in London in the early Nineteenth Century where demand grew further before the family returned to Geneva to develop and refine their technology even more.

France too became a booming centre of automata production in the second half of the Nineteenth Century, where the Mason Botnems flourished and developed their own mechanical advances.

These musical or singing bird boxes highlight a wondrous marriage between the skill and ingenuity of the watchmaker and the talents of the goldsmith and enameller.