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Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Oct 27, 2019

LOT 67


Yellow gold, tortoiseshell and painting on ivory, round-shaped “Bonbonnière” pill-box; cover, base and band decorated with gold piqué work. The lid with, under glass, a round-shaped panel painted on ivory showing a landscape with Geneva and the Mont-Blanc view from Bellevue.

Brand Unsigned

Year Circa 1790 -1800

Diameter 81.8 mm. x 27.2 mm

HKD 20,000 - 25,000

CHF 2,500 - 3,150 / USD 2,550 - 3,200

Sold: HKD 25,000

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3



Piqué work
Decorative technique, usually employed on tortoiseshell, in which inlaid designs are created by means of small gold or silver pins. The art reached its highest point in 17th- and 18th-century France, particularly for the decoration of small tortoiseshell articles such as combs, patch boxes, and snuffboxes. By an adroit arrangement of the gold and silver pins, by placing them in small or large clusters, effects of light and shade could be created in the design. In the finest French work, the pins are placed so close to each other and with such accuracy that they appear to form a continuous line. Decorative motifs include chinoiseries scenes, geometric designs, and arabesques. In England, where the craft had been brought by the Huguenots at the end of the 17th century, Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) in 1770 developed mechanical methods of producing piqué panels. Many of his designs show the influence of the Neoclassical designer Robert Adam (1728-1792). During the 19th century, piqué was widely employed for small tortoiseshell jewellery, much of it after 1872 being made by machine in Birmingham, England.