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  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)
    Netherlands (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Picque, inlaid tortoiseshell, gold

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 69, The Whiteley Galleries, case 20

This box has been decorated using the intricate technique of piqué which was perfected in Paris in the 18th century. It required skilled craftsmen to inlay turtle shell (now known as tortoiseshell) with tiny gold pins (known as piqué point) or strips of gold laid in shallow grooves (piqué posé).

This example is made of dark, moulded tortoiseshell, inlaid with pins and flat strips of gold. The gold sheet depicting a sea shore is finely engraved.

Physical description

Picque, inlaid tortoise-shell, oblong but with curved and moulded corners, inlaid with gold depicting ruins, figures, boats

Place of Origin

France (possibly, made)
Netherlands (possibly, made)


18th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Picque, inlaid tortoiseshell, gold


Length: 4.25 in, Width: 3.125 in

Descriptive line

Box, tortoiseshell inlaid with gold, France or Netherlands, 18th century

Labels and date

Silver Gallery:
This box is made of dark, moulded tortoiseshell, inlaid with piqué and posé work. The gold sheet depicting a sea shore is finely engraved. Mid-18th century gold and piqué boxes of similar shape were popular in the Netherlands and France. [26/11/2002]


Tortoiseshell; Gold


Metalwork; Containers


Metalwork Collection

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