Antique late 19th century French Limoges kiln-fired enamel on bronze or copper jewelry casket. Impressive large size and outstanding quality. The box is circular in form, hand painted throughout with idyllic, pastoral scenes. Adorning the lid is a charming portrait of a shepherdess mother and her children tending to the flock, one child holding a little lamb, as they walk down a path followed by a goat or ram and surrounded by an elegant country setting. A border of pink roses on lush foliage encircles the sides of the box. The base is also beautifully enameled with a serene Barbizon style pastoral view of a country house near a lake. A lovely treasure! The box is signed L. Coblentz, for the enamelist Levy Coblentz. The style of the scenes in this piece are very similar to the works we typically see on Austrian Viennese enamels, in particular finely detailed figures and pops of color against a pale blue sky background. The art of kiln-fired enamel is a painstaking process. Such exquisite detail and color, as evident in this lovely box, require a very skilled hand and knowledge acquired through years of practice. The enamel is first applied in brushstrokes of powders in muted tones, which is then kiln-fired and harden to a finish similar to glazed porcelain. Finished with gilt mounts. The hinged box opening to a gilt metal interior. In good to excellent condition. The enamel work on this piece is stunning, and in very good condition with no damage, chips or repairs. There are some fine scratches commensurate with use. The gilt interior having some dark spots from age. Nice large size, measures approximately 7" diameter x 3 1/4" height.
Levy Coblentz was born in 1828 at Lunéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France. Levy Coblentz studied under the French sculptor Justin Lequien, who was also director of the school of drawing in the rue Menilmontant, Paris. Coblentz is listed in the Bénézit, exhibited at the L'Exposition des Beaux Arts Salon de Paris in 1874 and 1882). Listed in the Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, 1904. Known for stunning romantic / pastoral genre scenes reminiscent of the works by Fragonard and portraits done in enamel.