Silver and enamel box, by Eugène Feuillâtre

Paris, France, around AD 1902

This magnificent decorative box is a tour de force of the enameller's art. It was executed by Eugène Feuillâtre (1870-1916), a French enameller who originally worked with the jeweller René Lalique (1860-1945) before setting up his own studio in 1897. Enamelling involves fusing ground coloured glass onto a metal surface by heating it in a kiln. The particular technique used on the lid of this box is called plique-à-jour, which is different from other forms of enamelling in that there is no base plate supporting it underneath. Instead, pockets of transparent colour are suspended in a fine metal framework like miniature stained glass windows. The lid is mounted in the centre with a large amethyst, which complements the subtle colours of the enamels. The sides of the box are decorated with stylized lilies in red enamel. For these the champlevé technique has been used, whereby pools of enamel are melted in troughs in the silver.

In its use of stylized butterflies and flower motifs, this box provides a classic example of the French Art Nouveau style, and it is not surprising to learn that Feuillâtre was closely associated with this movement, particularly the Belgian group Libre Esthétique ('Free Aesthetic').

Find in the collection online

Silver and enamel box, by Eugène Feuillâtre

  • Full view of open lid

    Full view of open lid

 

More information

Bibliography

C. Gere and others, The art of the jeweller: a cat, 2 vols. (, 1984)

G. Mourey et al., Art Nouveau jewellery and fans (New York, Dover Publications, 1973)

M. Koch and others, The Belle Epoque of French jew (London, 1990)

D. Lancaster, Art Nouveau jewellery (London, Little & Brown, 1996)

Dimensions

Height: 5.000 cm
Width: 16.000 cm

Museum number

M&ME Hull Grundy Catalogue 1105

MCT113

Gift of Professor and Mrs John Hull Grundy

Location

Find in the collection online



Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore