An Exceptionally Fine and Rare Example of an English Georgian South Staffordshire or Battersea Enamel on Copper Table Box of good size proportions and outstanding heavy gauge quality. Mounted on an ormolu frame. Circa 1800, possibly earlier.
Of oval outline with a hinged cushioned lid hand painted with Figures in a pastured landscape within a lavish raised gilt cartouche on a Pompadour Pink enamel ground.
The outer sides with circular reserves in French Sevres Style, hand painted with groups of Summer Flowers and foliage.
Condition: Superb condition with no imperfections or losses, ormolu mount frame is distressed. Back and front views are similar.
Width: 6.25" (16cm). Height: 3.5" (9cm). Depth: 4” (10cm).
Location: Dublin City, Ireland.
Affordable Fixed Price Worldwide Store to door shipping.
A Staffordshire Enamel Object starts life as a copper sheet. The lid and base parts of the box are produced by spinning or pressing the shapes from thin copper sheets. The surface of the copper is pickled in acid to clean and roughen it ready to accept the application of enamel.
Enamel is created from vitreous glass, which is milled to a fine powder and converted to emulsion by the addition of water and coloured oxides. Each copper form is coated with a ground coat and several layers of white or coloured enamel either by spraying or dipping. Each coat is individually fired in kilns heated to 800 degrees centigrade to ensure longevity and the deep lustrous finish.
Artwork for each design is hand drawn by an artist. Once a finished design has been approved an outline is drawn in black ink and a ceramic lithograph printed. This is applied to the enameled surface of the box. A further firing fixes the black outline which is then used by artists as a guide. Colours are hand mixed from specially selected fine pigments and oils such as clove, turpentine and aniseed. Platinum, gold and raised white decorations are all used on occasion to enhance the design and create special effects in the Georgian tradition. Once hand painting is completed, the most time consuming of all the many processes, the item is again fired to fix the colours and add the final glaze.