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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 28: An Important Bilston Pillement Snuff Box – SOLD – £3,300.00

An Important Bilston Pillement Snuff Box
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Price: £3,300.00

SOLD

Description:
The lid and sides painted with designs from the prolific French artist Jean Pillement (1790-1808) rectangular in shape a large proportion imaginative and based very much on the orient. There are 39 engraved plates in the Ladies Amusement, inspired by the Chinese
Dimensions:
Height: 4cm
Width: 7.5cm
Length: 6cm
Circa:
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 60: Rock Crystal Ewer and Tray – Viennese Silver Gilt – Buy Now – £13,200.00

Rock Crystal Ewer and Tray - Viennese Silver Gilt
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Price: £13,200.00
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Description:
The rock crystal carved with swirling flutes enhanced by corded silver mounts, the silver-gilt mounts enamelled with creatures among scrollwork, Ewer with town and maker’s mark, Tazza with later French control mark only
Dimensions:
Height: 20.5cm
Width:
Length:
Circa: 1890
Condition:

*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 70: Silver Gilt and Enamel Bird Box, Charles Bruguier – Buy Now – £27,500.00

Silver Gilt and Enamel Bird Box, Charles Bruguier
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Price: £27,500.00
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Description:
Fussee movement, when wound and start/stop slide to centre slid to the right, the bird rises smoothly through very finely tooled and pierced gilt grille, moving beak, head turning, wings, tailfeather bobbing and body from side-to-side to paused sequential birdsong in 1-1-2-3-2-3-4 order lasting over 20 seconds. The bird with exquisite alternate banded feathered plumage in lime and dark greens, head with teal green highlighted with orange sides, inset front polished bay border, lid interior with petit-painted enamel study of roses, pansies and French blues within floral spray on duck-egg blue ground, laurel leaf tooled border, in magnificent silver-gilt case with the movement plate beside mainspring ratchet stamped C. BRUGUIER, the corners with mitre point shaped corners, main top with geometric trefoils from black enamel frame, further floral enamel spray spandrels finished with double black enamel framing, multiplediamond tooled edge frieze before full tooled sides featuring delicate swags and leaves from central obverse heart crests, union-tie corners, hidden key compartment to rear and underside with large crested cartouche to chequer-board ground and loop-wave frieze surround.
Dimensions:
Height: 6.7cm
Width: 9.8cm
Length:
Circa: 1820
Condition: fine excellent condition

*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 74: Micro Mosaic Snuff Box – Buy Now – £8,800.00

Micro Mosaic Snuff Box
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Price: £8,800.00
BUY IT NOW

Description:
This beautiful micro mosaic shows two adult greyhounds and their litter, The mother is suckling her young. Set in the lid of a French gold mounted abalone and lacquer snuff box lined in red tortoiseshell circa 1800 for a similar box with a family of greyhounds see Roberto Grieco “Roman micro mosaics” page number 79. Plate 198. Fine slight wear on base Provenance: Private collection London
Dimensions:
Height: 2.75cm
Width: 8cm
Length:
Circa:
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 77: Swiss Gold and Enamel Carne De Ballé – Buy Now – £4,400.00

Swiss Gold and Enamel Carne De Ballé
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Price: £4,400.00
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Description:
A fine French 18ct gold and enamel Carne de Balle In strawberry translucent enamel. The hinged top with flowers set with emeralds and pearls – the sides with enamelled flowers. One centre with an enamelled Pansy, the other with initials with dance card and pencil to the interior
Dimensions:
Height: 7cm
Width:
Length:
Circa: 1780
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 78: French Gold and Enamel Carne de Ballé – Buy Now – £8,800.00

French Gold and Enamel Carne de Ballé
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Price: £8,800.00
BUY IT NOW

Description:
An exquisite and rare carnet de bal (dance card holder) Case: 22k gold and enamel, illegible maker’s mark, charge mark Jean-Jacques Prévost (1762-1768). Opaque white ground with translucent green ornamental framing, chased and enamelled borders of translucent and opalescent dots. Gently tapering body, hinged upper part with inscriptions “Souvenir” on the front and “D’Amitie” on the back. The front has an oval enamel plaque painted “en plein” with two nymphs and Amor at the altar of love; the back has an oval glazed aperture with intertwined initials on textile ground. With ivory tablets and gold mounted pencil
Dimensions:
Height:
Width:
Length:
Circa: 1768
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 93: French Three Coloured Gold Perfume Bottle – Buy Now – £4,400.00

French Three Coloured Gold Perfume Bottle
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Price: £4,400.00
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Description:
Piriform with decoration on both sides of oval medallions surrounded by pearl threads and four rosettes representing “The Altar of Love” and “The Birds of Love”, the perimeter with leafy decoration, the “palmette” cap, the latter retained by a chain. base. Long. : 9.5 cm (3 1/4 in.) Width. : 4.9 cm (1 3/4 in.) Weight: 34.41 g. A Swiss gold scent bottle, late 18th century
Dimensions:
Height: 9.5cm
Width: 4.5cm
Length: 1.4cm
Circa: 1750
Condition:

*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 100: Silver and Enamel Perfume bottle on Chatelaine – Buy Now – £2,200.00

Silver and Enamel Perfume bottle on Chatelaine
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Price: £2,200.00
BUY IT NOW

Description:
Fine French silver and enamel scent bottle, round form the centre a romantic couple within an enamel pearl border the body mid blue, the stopper with sprays of flowers, the bottle is suspended from a Chatelaine with an oval panel matching the enamelling
Dimensions:
Height:
Width:
Length:
Circa: 1850
Condition:

*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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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.

Bonbonnièrre

Bonbonnièrre

Bonbonnièrres are small decorative boxes containing ‘bonbons’ or sweets. Hence the derivation of the term ‘bonbonnièrre’ from the French word ‘bonbon’. Everyone had bad breath in the Eighteenth Century so these beautiful little boxes were not only celebrated gifts but like most enamel boxes of the era, they also contained very useful necessities of everyday life – sugar coated seeds and nuts that were sucked to disguise the unfortunate smell of halitosis!

Amongst wealthy aristocratic circles these small boxes of sweets – each holding only a few confections were given to celebrate birthdays, christenings and marriages. The earliest sweets would have been dry and rather had confections known as ‘confits’ (sugared nuts, cloves and seeds) and diamond from sugar ‘lozenges’. In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, sugar was quite costly – only available via shipment from the Caribbean Islands’ sugar plantations. So too were their containers – sometimes made of gold, precious stones, crystals or porcelain. Even owning a bonbonnièrre indicated a person as someone of wealth and status. Gifting a bonbonnièrre not only provided a thoughtful memento of a special occasion, but it also significantly served as a reminder of the giver’s own social status.

First popularised in France, bonbonnièrres were later introduced to Scotland and England in the Eighteenth Century as the local expertise and flair for enamelling took off. It Italy, they were traditionally given as wedding gifts, each enclosing five sugared almonds, representing fertility, health, wealth, happiness and longevity, as well as the bittersweet life of a married couple.

Generally made in enamel on metal, in porcelain with metal mounts and some exquisite and very expensive examples in gold. A few were also made in glass but these are even rarer to come by due to their fragility.

Decorative concepts tend to be quite whimsical and intricate. Some are set with small portraits or landscapes and precious stones – particularly the gold examples. The English were particularly good at fashioning whimsical animal forms in enamel on copper.

Micro-mosaic boxes

Micro-mosaic boxes

In eighteenth century Europe, boxes played a significant role in the conduct of social affairs produced for the affluent nobility all over France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Austria and Italy and even as far as Sweden and Denmark.

Small rectangular gold boxes became the century’s most sought after accessories taking form for all sorts of uses.

Micro-mosaic boxes were usually purchased in Rome by travellers on the Grand Tour. These boxes feature an Italian micro-mosaic design set into the cover of a French or English snuff box.

Russian enamel

Russian enamel

A number of regions such as the northern Stroganovsky and Usolsky established their own enamel traditions in the Seventeenth Century. Meanwhile it was the cloisonné and filigree enamel techniques that set Moscow and later St Petersburg apart. Enamel portraits of Peter the Great and his family were painted on miniatures and given as awards.

Although the name ‘cloisonné’ is French, most antique pieces found in this style were created in Russia and today often referred to as ‘Russian Enamel’ as many of aspect of the ornamentation reflect the architecture and stylistic characteristics of Russian art and design, for example, the vibrant colours of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square.

The most famous maker of nineteenth century cloisonné enamel pieces was Karl Faberge, whose infamous Faberge eggs are some of the best quality and most widely recognisable pieces of cloisonné enamel in the world. His infamy, alongside the value and craftsmanship in his pieces, ensured that Russia adopted cloisonné enamel decoration as its own, and secured a style that has continued be revered as the zenith of Russian artistry all over the world.

Another enamel technique mastered by Russian craftsmen in the Eighteenth Century was Nielo enamelling. Nielo was usually used to decorate cigarette cases with scenes of buildings or the ubiquitous troika (three horse drawn carriage).