18th-Century Agate and Gold Etui
18th-Century Agate and Gold Etui 18th-Century Agate and Gold Etui
18th-Century Agate and Gold Etui

18th-Century Agate and Gold Etui

  • This rare 18th-century étui is crafted of precious transparent, banded agate
  • The mounts are crafted of chiseled yellow gold mounts with graceful Rococo flourishes
  • A diamond set into the push button adds sparkle to this rare objet d'art
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Item No. 30-7600
$12,850
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description
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description
This rare and remarkable mid-18th-century agate and gold étui were most likely used to hold small toiletries, writing instruments and even messages typically exchanged between confidantes or lovers. Yellow gold mounts, flawlessly pierced and chiseled in an exuberant Rococo motif, beautifully complement the transparent banded agate, while a diamond push adds eye-catching sparkle. If used for confidential notes, the message would be tucked inside and the box would have been sealed with wax for optimal security. To find such a delicate object still in such beautiful condition is extremely rare.

Agate is a beautifully striped gemstone that forms in a wide variety of colors and textures and was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. Persian magicians used it to divert storms. A renowned collection of two to four thousand agate bowls accumulated by the King of Pontus reveals the enthusiasm with which agate was collected by royalty. Collecting agate again became popular during the Renaissance by European royalty and many museums in Europe, including the Louvre, have spectacular examples of which this étui rivals.

English or German, circa 1740; bears later-stamped Dutch gold marks

3 9/16” length
specifications
Period: 18th Century
Material:Agate
Length:3 9/16 Inches
Width:3/4 Inches
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