French Guilloche Enamel Box

Depicting The Voyage of Ulysses after Homers Odyssey

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    Boars Head Silver Mark 

    From our collectables category, we are delighted to offer this French Guilloche Enamel Box. The Guilloche Enamel Box of circular slender form extensively decorated with a blue enamel base having a scrolling decorative motif around the outside of the box  with a vining flower pattern above. The lid of the box is decorated with a central darker blue scene featuring two figures lying in a woodland depicting The Voyage of Ulysses after Homers Odyssey framed by a matching floral border. The base of the Guilloche Enamel Box has been beautifully engine turned with an illusional spiral effect. When opened the Box shows the original silver-gilt lining hallmarked to the rim with the French Boars head Silver hallmark.  The Box dates to the Art Nouveau period and the late 19th century circa 1885.

    Boars Head silver hallmark is the mark of the Paris Assay Office. The boars head indicates a fineness of 800 or higher. The mark was used between 1838 and 1961.

    The Voyage of Ulysses After defeating the Trojans in an intense, ten-year war, the Greeks’ courageous leader, Ulysses who was the King of Ithaca, Greece begins the voyage home with his soldiers. There his faithful wife, Penelope, and his young son, Telemachus, await him. Ulysses never imagines that the journey home will be another ten-year quest in which he must confront all kinds of terrifying obstacles, including giant cannibals, one-eyed monsters, an enchantress who turns his men into pigs, and the tempting song of sea nymphs who try to lure him and his men to their death. But Ulysses is a daring and clever man, willing to take on all that life and the gods put in his path in order to reach his home. 

    Homers Odyssey The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems that are attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still widely read by modern audiences. The poem is divided into 24 books and it follows the Greek hero Odysseus, King of Ithaca, and his journey home after the Trojan War. The Odyssey was originally composed in Homeric Greek in around the 8th or 7th century BC.  By the mid-6th century BC The Odyssey became part of the Greek literary canon.

    Guilloche generally means a repetitive architectural patterns of intersecting or overlapping spirals or other shapes. It is a decorative technique in which a very precise, intricate and repetitive pattern is mechanically engraved into an underlying material via engine turning. Engine turning machines include the rose engine lathe and also the straight-line engine. This mechanical technique improved on more time-consuming designs achieved by hand and allowed for greater delicacy, precision, and closeness of line, as well as greater speed. This allowed the user to provide an extremely uniform pattern in a quick timeframe which was not possible by hand previously.

    Enamel (vitreous enamel) also known as porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating. The word vitreous comes from the Latin vitreous, meaning “glassy”.

    Art Nouveau was an international style of art and architecture, especially the decorative arts. It was inspired by natural forms such as the curves of plants and flowers. Other characteristics of Art Nouveau were a sense of dynamism, movement and the use of modern materials particularly iron, glass and ceramics to create unusual forms. It was popular between 1890 and 1910 during the Belle Époque period and before the First World War. It was a reaction against the academic art, eclecticism and historicism of 19th century architecture and decoration.

    Measurements 8cm Diameter x 2.5cm High (3.15 x 1 Inches)

    Condition Excellent, no damage to the enamel and no restoration

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