Sunday, April 28, 2013

Masterpiece of the Week: The Neuber Bonbonnière, 1780

German Sweet Meat Box
With Roman insets
The Victoria and Albert Museum

This bonbonnière of colored hardstone, including carnelian, turquoise, jasper, and lapis lazuli, has been attributed to the workshop of Christian Neuber who, in 1780, when the box was made, was working in Dresden.

The handsome lid and base of the box are set with micromosaic panels of a dog and a butterfly which appear to be based on the mosaics of Giacomo Raffaelli--one of the most talented Roman mosaicists.  In fact, some believe that Raffaelli or someone in his workshop may have made the micromosaic panels which were set into this German sweetmeat box--demonstrating the popularity of this medium in Europe in the 18th century.

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