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Gold Boxes: The Wrightsman Collection

Item# 04-007126 

Price: $3.95 $1.00
Member Price: $3.55 $0.90


  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pages: 32
  • Illustrations: 47 in full color
  • Dimensions: 6'' x 10 1/2''
  • Format: Paperback
  • Author:
  • ISBN: 9780870991660



By Clare Le Corbeiller

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 Orlans 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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