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Made by: David Teniers II

On view in: French Drawing Room

About this object

This heart shaped box—one of two at Hillwood—displays tavern scenes in painted enamel in four sections. The rest of the surface is covered with chased gold rococo scrolls interspersed with flowers in colorful enamels. The tavern scenes acknowledge the Dutch and Flemish popular subjects that were all the rage with collectors in the mid-eighteenth century and inspired decoration in a variety of media. The heart form, of great rarity among eighteenth-century boxes, suggests that it may have been intended as a token of love or as part of a wedding present (corbeille de marriage).

The box is heart-shaped in cross section. Each of the four faces has a panel containing a tavern scene in painted enamel with one or two characters based on the work of the Flemish painter David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690). On the top is a man in three-quarter length holding a glass of wine in his left hand and a wine bottle under his right arm. On the bottom is a man seated at a table holding a glass of wine in his right hand next to the carafe in the table. On one side is a man and a woman who are seated at a table with a white cloth. On the other side is a man seated at a table holding a sheet of paper while a woman next to him looks on with a glass of wine and a carafe sitting on the table. Each panel is framed with chased gold rococo scrolls. The remaining areas are covered with chased gold in a variety of patterns, including zigzags and various combinations of dots and lines. Scattered among these decorative elements are sprays of flowers and leaves in colorful basse-taille enamel.

Object name:
Made from:
Gold -- enamel
Made in:
Paris, France
Date made:
1 3/4 × 1 11/16 × 1 1/8 in. (4.4 × 4.3 × 2.9 cm)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
MARK: Harrow (the charge mark for medium size works for the Fermier General Eloy Brichard 1756-62) [inside] MARK: a shell (discharge mark for Eloy Brichard) [in the rim] MARK: the initials FGT and a star (for François-Guillaume Tiron, master in 1747) [in the rim]
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973