Joseph-Etienne Blerzy, Paris, flange number 584, 83 x 63 x 29 mm, 149 g, circa 1784
An exquisite French Louis XVI style gold and enamel snuff box "Apollo crowns the muses", after a painting by Angelika Kauffmann (1741-1807) - with morocco case Case: 20k gold, polychrome enamel, makers punch mark "JEB" (Joseph-Etienne Blerzy), charge and discharge marks of Henri Clavel (1783-1789), Parisian guild punch mark "P84" of 1784, two later post-1838 French restricted warranty marks for gold.
Oval box with all-over engine-turning and translucent cobalt blue enamel, gold taille d'epargne stars. In the centre of the hinged cover sits an exquisite oval enamel plaque framed by green leaves and petals formed from opalescent enamel beads. The polychrome miniature "Apollo crowns the muses" is inspired by a painting by Angelika Kauffmann (1741-1807). All sides are decorated with applied gold borders with fitted translucent green and blue enamel foliage scrolls and opalescent flowers made up of enamel beads on a mattfinished "sablè" ground. The sides are additionally ornamented with four stylized pilaster strips with oval, translucent enamel medallions with brown sprays in imitation of dendritic agate, with translucent green enamel ribbons and enamel beads.
Its perfectly executed, beautiful design makes this marvellous snuff box a true masterpiece of museum quality.
Joseph-Etienne Blerzy (active 1768-1808) was apprenticed in Paris to François-Joachim Aubert in 1750, and it was he who sponsored him as master in 1768 when Blerzy was living on the pont au Change. His shop was called the "Ville de Leipzick" but the house was demolished in 1786 and he moved to the rue de la Monnaie. He had moved again before 1805, when he is recorded at 118 rue du Coq-St.Honoré, but in the following year he is listed at number 3 in the same street. Blerzy must have died some time shortly after this since the 1809 edition of Douet lists "BOISOT (la dame) VE.BLERZY Victoire" at the same address and stated that she struck her mark on 6 April 1808. She is listed by Azur at the same address in 1810. Source: "The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Gold Boxes" by Charles Truman, London 2013, p. 336.
Other boxes made by Joseph-Etienne Blerzy can be found in the Wallace Collection, The Gilbert Collection and the Louvre.
Estimate 27,000 - 40,000 €
Price Realised 37,800 €
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