Objects of Vertu

Overview

Objects of vertu are small objects created from precious materials either to be admired simply as works of art or, more often, originally conceived for a practical purpose such as snuff boxes, cigarette cases, scent bottles, fans and other similar articles of beauty and adornment.

With new interest from around the world, this area of collecting has recently seen a strong revival. It is perhaps not surprising that such objects should be popular as each encapsulates a vast wealth of history, imagination and artistic skill within a very small area. The rarest gold boxes were often gifts commissioned by kings and princes from leading goldsmiths for presentation on important occasions. Often they would be chased in gold and applied with jewels, enamelled in brilliant colours or set with a royal portrait miniature.

Sotheby’s sales include European and American gold boxes and objects of vertu ranging from the late 17th century to modern times.

Regular sales take place twice yearly in Paris and New York, with exceptional items from private collections offered in London together with sales of furniture and other decorative arts.

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Consignments

If you wish to enquire about the possibility of offering a work in one of Sotheby's Objects of Vertu sales, please click here.

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+1 212 606 7160
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+33 1 53 05 53 20
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+44 (0)20 7293 5350

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Contacts

  • Silver
    John D Ward
    Senior Vice President, Head of Department
    New York
  • Objects of Vertu
    Julia Clarke
    Deputy Director | Senior Specialist
    London
  • Russian Art
    Darin Bloomquist
    Director | Specialist | Head of Department, Russian Works of Art
    London