Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gifts of Grandeur: A Tortoiseshell Box

Gold, Silver, Tortoiseshell
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection 
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

An Eighteenth-Century creation of unknown origin, this cartouche-shaped box is crafted of tortoiseshell. The lid connect to the base by silver hinges on a gold band rim. Both cover and base are piqué with silver posé and foules point—essentially meaning that the adornment is slightly raised.

The cover depicts a scene of Venus seated with Cupid amongst a floral pattern. The base shows a hunting scene of hound and hare with a similar scrolling foliate border.

There’s no record in the inventory of the Royal Collection which states how or why this box came into Royal hands, but, if I had my guess, I’d say it had something to do with Queen Mary.

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