- Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Pages: 32
- Illustrations: 47 in full color
- Dimensions: 6'' x 10 1/2''
- Format: Paperback
- Author: Clare Le Corbeiller
- ISBN: 9780870991660
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An object of use, luxury, and superb craftsmanship: the gold box in the eighteenth century was all of these. It was by definition a snuff box, although it often held jewels, money, or even a scroll conferring the freedom of a city. Conventionally it was oblong, circular, or oval, but the Duchess of Orléans owned a gondola-shaped snuff box and Madame de Pompadour one in the form of a cat. Some boxes were made entirely of gold— polished, matted, chased, engraved, and even tinted. On others, the gold was set off by enameling. Figures or still lifes in bright opaque colors were painted directly onto the gold surface (en plein), trails of vines and flowers were carved out of the surface, the spaces filled with shimmering translucent shades of blue and green (basse taille). Gold Boxes: The Wrightsman Collection showcases some of the finest boxes made in western Europe in the eighteenth century.
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