Enameled Musical Necessaire Set

Switzerland | ca. 1810 | Gold, diamonds, pearls and enamel | Isaac-Daniel Piguet & Henry-Daniel Capt (makers)

The surface of this gold music box is decorated with enamels of different themes. On one side, Cupid, the god of love, is depicted with a bow and arrow, looking for a target; the upper panel is illustrated with fruits and flowers, signifying the abundance of life. On the other side, a shepherdess and her lover are depicted lingering under a tree; the upper panel is illustrated with a dove returning to its nest, signifying romantic love. On each of the two narrow side panels of the box, a serpent is entwined with a vine-covered Greek column, signifying unshakeable determination.



A small mechanical watch is built into the top of the box. The lid opens to reveal an arrangement of five miniature gold gadgets, including a pencil, a toothpick bottle, a paper cutter, and two winders, all decorated with sky blue and white enamel designs. The base of the music box is inscribed with the imperial coat of arms of French Emperor Napoleon I, indicating the identity of this necessaire set's owner or gifter. The bottom conceals a mechanical system that plays music when wound with a winder. When the music starts, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, begins to play the mandolin and Cupid begins to beat the drums.


This incredible music box is signed by 'Piguet & Capt', two master watchmakers from the same village in the Swiss Jura, who specialized in the creation of whimsical horological devices, and who worked together between 1802 and 1811 on a number of exquisite creations, of which this enameled necessaire set was born.

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