Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Boar Hunt Snuffbox, 1821-1826

This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This large, rectangular gold snuffbox is set with five chased gold panels under slightly convex glass. The glass is bordered by silver-gilt filets and cage-work enameled in black and white with flowers and foliage on a champlevé (a process of enameling wherein the surface is carved or cast with troughs into which the enamel is applied in cells) ground.

The panel on the box’s cover depicts the a boar hunt and around the walls, a family of deer are depicted watching a stag hunt. The black enamel on the base is alive with a chevron pattern which accents the scenes.

This monument to porcine murder is multi-national with mounts made in Geneva, Switzerland and the patterns made in Strassburg, France. Created between 1821 and 1826, the panels are the work of French sculptor Jacques Frederic Kirstenstein for Bautte et Moynier.

Jacques Frederic Kirstenstein frequently portrayed hunting scenes on chased gold panels such as these. His work was very popular and highly celebrated. He won gold medals for his work at the Exhibitions of 1810 and 1834. The Swiss firm of Bautte & Moynier commissioned Kirstenstein specifically for this snuffbox. 

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