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Accessory case

Accessory case

  • Place of origin:

    London, England (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1710 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Agate, mounted in gold, set with an emerald and diamonds, with gold suspension chains, containing scissors, bodkin, fruit knife and combined pen and pencil

  • Credit Line:

    The Jones Collection

  • Museum number:

    950:1 to 7-1882

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 54a, case 2

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Object Type
An étui is a container, and it could take many forms. This kind is sometimes known as an étui-nécessaire because it contained the essentials for the sewing or dressing table. It was probably intended to be hung from a girdle.

People
According to the inscription, the étui was a gift from Queen Anne (ruled 1702-1714) to Abigail Masham (died 1734), who, as Abigail Hill, was appointed as a personal maid to the queen about 1700. She was credited with considerable influence over the Queen, much to the annoyance of her cousin, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744), who had been her early patron. In 1707 she married Samuel Masham, and in 1711 she was given control of the privy purse. Her husband was created a Baron in 1712. She retired from Court on Queen Anne's death in 1714.

Authenticity
The étui has survived some close scrutiny in the past, but it can be difficult to judge the date of hardstone objects with relatively little mounting. The flowers chased on the fruit-knife handle look mid-18th century. The knife could be a replacement, but it is possible that the whole étui is also mid-18th century.

Place of Origin

London, England (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1710 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Agate, mounted in gold, set with an emerald and diamonds, with gold suspension chains, containing scissors, bodkin, fruit knife and combined pen and pencil

Marks and inscriptions

Engraved on the base: 'Masham from her Lovin Dux'

Dimensions

Height: 8.9 cm case, Width: 3 cm, Depth: 3 cm

Descriptive line

Étui case, a gift from Queen Anne

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This étui or case was given by Queen Anne to Abigail Masham (died 1734) who was her personal maid from about 1704. Abigail Masham's influence with the Queen helped break the political power of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough in 1710. Inside the jewelled case are scissors, a fruit-knife, a combined pen and pencil and a bodkin for threading ribbons. [27/03/2003]

Categories

Personal accessories; Metalwork

Collection code

MET

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Qr_O77776
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