View full screen - View 1 of Lot 105. An Italian engraved mother-of-pearl and gold piqué tortoiseshell dish, Naples, circa 1740 |  Plat italien en nacre gravée et écaille piquée d'or, Naples, vers 1740.
105

An Italian engraved mother-of-pearl and gold piqué tortoiseshell dish, Naples, circa 1740 | Plat italien en nacre gravée et écaille piquée d'or, Naples, vers 1740

An Italian engraved mother-of-pearl and gold piqué tortoiseshell dish, Naples, circa 1740 | Plat italien en nacre gravée et écaille piquée d'or, Naples, vers 1740

An Italian engraved mother-of-pearl and gold piqué tortoiseshell dish, Naples, circa 1740 | Plat italien en nacre gravée et écaille piquée d'or, Naples, vers 1740

An Italian engraved mother-of-pearl and gold piqué tortoiseshell dish, Naples, circa 1740


of scalloped shape, with scenes of Chinese figures with dog and ruins to central section, the border with scallops to each side issuing foliage 

Height 6 in; width 7¼in

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Plat italien en nacre gravée et écaille piquée d'or, Naples, vers 1740


de forme chantournée, avec des scènes de personnages sinisants, un chien et des ruines, la bordure ornée des festons feuillagés

Haut. 15,5 cm, larg. 19,2 cm

In overall good conserved condition. The tortoiseshell of good colour. One repaired break to the left side, three small chips to edge of lower side, together with loss of one gold inlay leaf. One small area of possible loss, now filled to upper area. Light patterned staining to right side, not distracting and potentially removable.


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Purchased from Bearns, Exeter, May 2016.

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Acheté chez Bearns, Exeter, en mai 2016.

This dish is decorated using the intricate technique known as piqué, which developed in the late 17th and first half of the 18th century and was popular across the courts of Europe. Piqué work uses tortoiseshell as the decorative base, somewhat like a canvas: the shell would first be softened in boiling water and oil, so that designs in mother-of-pearl and gold could then be impressed into it without the need for glue. The result is a variegated but controlled combination of three highly distinctive material textures. The technique was long popular, adopting elements of its design to accommodate for the general shift from Baroque to Rococo tastes, and experienced a later upsurge in popularity among collectors like the Rothschilds and Queen Mary, wife of George V, who purchased in 1939 an identical dish to the present lot (RCIN 22285 - https://www.rct.uk/collection/search#/5/collection/22285/tray)


The form of this deep dish is a popular one among piqué artisans, with the large base allowing the creative scope for whimsical scenes that combine human figures, architectural detail and natural motifs. There is a certain merriness to the decorative use of gold as an accentuating feature, with piqué artisans often using it to it to draw attention to a hat, a leaf or hand-held objects like baskets, jugs and sticks. In addition, this dish displays several of the techniques within the piqué arsenal, such as the use of stippling around the solid designs, which is known as piqué point-d’or

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Ce plat est décoré selon la technique complexe du piqué, qui s'est développée à la fin du XVIIeme siècle et dans la première moitié du XVIIIeme siècle. Populaire dans toutes les cours d'Europe, le piqué utilise l'écaille de tortue comme une toile de fond. L'écaille était d'abord ramollie dans de l'eau bouillante et de l'huile, de sorte que des motifs en nacre et en or pouvaient ensuite y être imprimés sans avoir besoin de colle. Le résultat est une combinaison variée mais contrôlée de trois textures matérielles très distinctes. Cette technique est restée longtemps populaire, adaptant des éléments de sa conception afin de s’adapter à l'évolution des styles, du baroque au rococo. Elle a connu un regain de popularité plus tard parmi les collectionneurs comme les Rothschild et la reine Mary, épouse de George V, qui a acheté en 1939 un plat identique au présent lot (RCIN 22285 - https://www.rct.uk/collection/search#/5/collection/22285/tray).


La forme de ce plat profond est particulièrement populaire chez les artisans du piqué. La grande base permet de créer des scènes fantaisistes qui combinent des figures humaines, des détails architecturaux et des motifs naturels. Il y a une certaine gaieté dans l'utilisation décorative de l'or comme ornementation, les artisans piqués l'utilisant souvent pour attirer l'attention sur un chapeau, une feuille ou des objets tenus à la main comme des paniers, des cruches et des bâtons. En outre, ce plat présente plusieurs des techniques du répertoire du piqué, comme l'utilisation du pointillé autour des motifs solides, connu sous le nom de piqué point-d'or.