The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Circular box (bonbonnière)
  • Circular box (bonbonnière)
  • Joseph Etienne Blerzy (active between: 1768 - 1806) , Goldsmith
  • Paris, France
  • 1785 - 1786
  • Gold and enamel
  • Height: 2.2 cm
    Diameter: 7.2 cm
    Weight: 126.2 g
  • Maker's mark: 'J.E. / B'
    Discharge mark: For 1783
    Mark: For Henri Clavel (1783-9)
    Mark: For 1774-5
    Stamp: '677'
    Mark: For 1785-6
  • G63
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Boxes without hinges are today frequently referred to as bonbonnières, normally circular boxes used to contain sweetmeats to freshen the breath. However, the term does not appear to have been used before about 1770 and before that the term ‘boïte à bonbons’ (sweet box) seems to have been used.
    The enamel decoration of this box has been used ingeniously. The blue and green translucent enamels create a stunning scale pattern, while around the rim enamels have been applied to give a ‘jewelled’ effect. The same technique was used at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory, where it was developed by Philippe Parpette and Joseph Coteau in the 1770s. The goldsmith who marked this box, Joseph-Etienne Blerzy, seems to have been at the forefront of taste in using this style of decoration on gold boxes.