A French gold-mounted poudre d’écaille boîte à mouches.

The patch-box lid is decorated in two-colour gold piqué posé with love birds and trophies; the box itself applied with gilt-chased leaf mounts.

The tortoiseshell-lined interior is divided into three small compartments, two with hinged lacquered lids; the third with no lid contains a small brush for the application of patches.

Made in Paris in 1783, the maker’s mark is rubbed, but is probably that of Pierre Cerneau, 6cm.

The piqué posé technique originated in Naples in the mid 17th Century and consists of softening tortoiseshell in boiling water and olive oil before impressing designs in gold, or mother-of-pearl, which are firmly set in place as the shell cools and contracts.


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