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Made by: Unknown

On view in: Second Floor Hallway

About this object

This superbly crafted casket belongs to a group of distinct enamel boxes made in Birmingham in the mid-eighteenth century. In Birmingham and the Southern Staffordshire area, the manufacture of enamels developed into a major industry with a wide net of distribution throughout the European continent. The cover and sides of this rectangular casket have finely painted Italianate landscapes, with trees, rivers, ruins, shepherds, and shepherdesses covering the entire white enamel ground. Finely chased scrolled mounts bind together the sides. Their finely painted pastoral landscapes in subtle tonalities imitate the style of Flemish painter Nicholas Berchem. In contrast, the two tea caddies and sugar canister are covered with delicate flowers painted in a naturalistic style.

The background is white. The cover and sides have finely painted Italianate landscapes with trees, rivers, ruins, pyramids, shepherds and sheperdesses. On the cover- a ruin at the left and a young couple and a musician seated by a river bank. At the right is a shepherd with cattle and sheep. On the front- the ruins of a temple, a pyramid, a sheperd and sheperdess, and groups of cattle and sheep. On the right side- the left a fountain and a pyramid in the background, and a shepherd with cow and sheep in the foreground. On the back-at the left an urn on a pedestal and a broken column, and at the right cattle, sheep, a shepherdess and shepherd playing a flute by a river bank. On the left side-a pedestal at the left with a picnic basket, a ruin in the background, a river at the right. On the right side- a shepherdess spinning wool, a cow and sheep, and a ruined temple in the foreground. A small cluster of colorful flowers is painted on the bottom.The box is set with finely chased scrolled mounts. The lid has a handle in the shape of a buch of grapes in gilt brass. The interior is fitted with a sugar cannister and two tea caddies in white enamel painted with scattered sprays of flowers in colors.

Object name:
Made from:
Enamel -- copper -- gilt copper
Made in:
Birmingham, England
Date made:
ca. 1770
14 × 12.1 × 23.7 cm (5 1/2 × 4 3/4 × 9 5/16 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
LABEL At the bottom a paper sticker with a zig-zag border and the number "28" in the center Paper label reading ""
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum"