Antique Gilt Bronze Jewel Casket Box by Tahan c.1870
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Of rectangular form, the hinged lid and sides are inset with mythological scenes and various classical figures.
Complete with the original crown headed key, the lock plate engraved with the inscription "Tahan Paris, Boul des Italiens"
It retains it original deep-buttoned burgundy silk lined interior and raised on decorative bun feet.
There is no mistaking its absolutely unique quality and design, which is sure to make it a treasured piece for any discerning collector.
In excellent original condition, please see photos for confirmation of condition.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 12 x Width 17 x Depth 12
Dimensions in inches:
Height 5 inches x Width 7 inches x Depth 5 inches
Alphonse Tahan (1830-1880) -was the official ébéniste de l'Empereur or master cabinet maker to Emperor Napoleon III and his wife, the Empress Eugénie. Known for her beauty and impeccable taste, the Empress Eugene enjoyed the reputation as a trend setter and favored the workshop Tahan.
Tahan Fabricant was located at 30 Rue de La Paix from 1849 and subsequently from 1878 at Boulevard des Italiens.
The firm exhibited at The London Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851 and the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1855, and on both occasions were awarded medals. His work exhibits such quality and is in high demand by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Not only did he produce furniture, but also small articles, such beautiful wooden boxes and fine bronze jewelry caskets.
His son, Jean-Pierre-Alexandre Tahan continued the legacy of his father, and his business in Paris was celebrated for its imaginative, exhibition-quality work.
Carved Cameo Shell
Although occasionally used in Roman cameos, the earliest prevalent use of shell for cameo carving was during the Renaissance, in the 15th and 16th centuries. Before that time, cameos were carved from hardstone. The Renaissance cameos are typically white on a grayish background and were carved from the shell of a mussel or cowry, the latter a tropical mollusk.
In the mid 18th century, explorations revealed new shell varieties. Helmet shells from the West Indies, and queen conch shells from the Bahamas and West Indies, arrived in Europe. This sparked a big increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells. Conch shells carve very well, but their colour fades over time.
After 1850 demand for cameos grew, as they became popular souvenirs of the Grand Tour among the middle class.
Classically the designs carved onto cameo stones were either scenes of Greek or Roman mythology or portraits of rulers or important dignitaries. In history, agate portrait cameos were often gifts from royalty to their subjects. These antique cameos, some more than 2000 years old, are either displayed in museums or are in private collections.
Angelica Kauffman, RA (1741 - 1807)
was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name in English; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.
While Kauffman produced many types of art, she identified herself primarily as a history painter, an unusual designation for a woman artist in the 18th century. History painting, was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this time period. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes.
Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the British had towards history painting. Ultimately she left Britain for the continent, where history painting was better established, held in higher esteem and patronized.
The works of Angelica Kauffman have retained their reputation. By 1911, rooms decorated with her work were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait. There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, in the Alte Pinakothek atMunich, in Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn (Estonia).
is a hard and durable wood with a satinlike sheen, much used in cabinetmaking, especially in marquetry. It comes from two tropical trees of the family Rutaceae (rue family). East Indian or Ceylon satinwood is the yellowish or dark-brown heartwood of Chloroxylon swietenia.
The lustrous, fine-grained, usually figured wood is used for furniture, cabinetwork, veneers, and backs of brushes. West Indian satinwood, sometimes called yellow wood, is considered superior. It is the golden yellow, lustrous, even-grained wood found in the Florida Keys and the West Indies.
It has long been valued for furniture. It is also used for musical instruments, veneers, and other purposes. Satinwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.
Our reference: 07770
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