Lot 11
  • 11

A Victorian mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell house-form casket mid 19th century

15,000 - 25,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, wood
  • height 16 1/4 in.; width 14 1/2 in.; depth 11 3/4 in.
  • 41.3 cm; 36.8 cm; 29.9 cm
with a hinged back opening to reveal three drawers.


By repute, John Nicholas Brown of the Brown University family
Northeast Auctions, New York, May 17, 2003, lot 605 

Catalogue Note

 Large quantities of mother-of-pearl were brought to Europe by the British and Dutch East India Companies from the 17th century onwards.  There it was used frequently as a material for inlay or marquetry.  Dutch artists like the member of the Belquin family and Dirck van Rijswijck were very famous for their plaques and  marquetry.  Vessels embellished with mother-of-pearl were produced throughout Europe.  In the 18th century, mother-of-pearl was an extremely fashionable material for snuff boxes, étuis and gold-mounted boxes of all types.  Games compendia and boxes containing playing cards and other games were at the height of their popularity in the later part of the 19th century.  This most elegant house model could well have been used for jewelry, as a collector's cabinet or for games.