An Italian tortoiseshell and gold piqué snuff box, Naples, mid 18th Century..

This exquisite box is of rectangular form, with waisted sides.

It is decorated overall in gold piqué posé foliate scrollwork and flutes, with fan and scale motifs in piqué point and clous.

It carries a shaped, pierced gold hinge, 8.5cm wide.

The piqué posé  technique, which originated in Naples in the mid 17th Century, 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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