Oval bowl with low oval foot carved from a single piece of agate that is exceptionally variegated. It has been so thinly carved and polished that it is remarkably translucent. The exterior surface is carved in low relief with a sophisticated Mannerist pattern, comprising acanthus leaves, curling volutes, square-ended tongues and round-headed gadroons. The foot’s gently concave surface terminates in a small moulding and a vertical foot-rim, which was most probably intended to be hidden beneath a decorated gold mount (now lost). The gold rim-mount is a modern replacement. It is decorated with four large scrolls (executed in thin, black enamelled lines) alternating with floriated crosses composed of dark blue enamelled fleurs-de-lis, with white enamelled detached ‘petals’; a small circle at the centre uniting the four arms of the cross. The rim-mount has a small moulded border of opaque, light blue triple stripes. The interior surface of the rim-mount is also decorated with four large complex scrolls – mainly executed in thin, black enamelled lines but also incorporating parts enamelled in green, red, dark blue, white and bright blue. Instead of the alternating floriated crosses, there are four small scrolling motifs, also enamelled in the same range of colours.
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