A Louis XV agate box with Versailles scenes, c.1760

A Louis XV agate box with Versailles scenes, c.1760

We have a piece that is not actually porcelain -but still very worthy as a rare survivor in our ‘object de Vertu’ category.

Agate 'Versailles' Box c. 1760

Agate ‘Versailles’ Box c. 1760

This amazing little box is a rare survivor: dating to Circa 1760, it is made from carefully selected pieces of Agate (semi-precious stone). It is mounted in gilt metal mounts, in itself a brittle combination much like porcelain. However, it also has a series of ‘cold-colour’ – meaning unfired enamel paintwork – scenic panels. These are fascinating, painted in blue/black/white, as they depict a grand palace with a U-shaped courtyard and fence in front, along which figures stroll: the unmistakable outline of Versailles.

Agate 'Versailles' Box top

Agate ‘Versailles’ Box top


General view_of_Versailles_in_circa_1682_by_Adam_Perelle

General view of Versailles in c.1682 by Adam Perelle

The other faces – including the curved ends – each have a view of a particular feature in the gardens of Versailles – the walks, grottos & gardens.

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The painting in miniature is almost ‘impressionist’ when enlarged – how appropriate that it is French!


This superb piece will be a part of the ‘Recent Acquisitions’ Exhibition, to be held at Moorabool Antiques. Opening is April 12th, 2014  at 11am.

Details of box:

#1017020 7.5cm wide $1450

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