Writing Tool Box

  • Unidentified, Writing Tool Box, 1750-1800, enamel, gilded metal, and glass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.245.26

Luce Center Label

The art of painting on enamel flourished in England during the second half of the eighteenth century. A French jeweler, Jean Toutin, had developed a new technique for painting on enamel, in which a gold base was covered first with white enamel, then painted with a design. This craft soon spread to England, where it was adopted by jewelers and goldsmiths. Their intricately painted boxes and curios were fashionable with the wealthy, who often bought them as souvenirs from their travels.

Luce Object Quote

“Enameling is a curious art, and not much labour but that of laying and painting colours, plain or in figures, on metal.” A General Description of all Trades, 1747, quoted in Susan Benjamin, English Enamel Boxes, 1978

Title
Writing Tool Box
Artist
Date
1750-1800
On View
Dimensions
2 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (5.0 x 6.4 x 3.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of John Gellatly

Mediums Description
enamel, gilded metal, and glass
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group
  • Landscape
  • Animal
Object Number
1929.8.245.26
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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