Personal Accessory Case thumbnail 1
Personal Accessory Case thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 53a

Personal Accessory Case

1766 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
A 'nécessaire' was a luxury object designed to hold a whole range of 'necessary' scent bottles and cosmetic and writing implements for use by a woman of fashion. The contents include five bottles with stoppers, a pencil and an ivory writing tablet, scissors, a mirror, a comb, a brush, toothpicks, a tongue scraper, a bodkin combined with a spoon for ear wax, and a file combined with a pair of tweezers.

People
Hidden away inside the box, visible only if the fittings are taken out, are the signature and date 'J. Pratbernon / 1766'. He was probably John Pratbernon, described as a gold and silver worker living in Oxford Street in 1774 (Westminster Poll Book). .

Design & Designing
To judge this casket by the most fashionable standards, it comes at the end of the Rococo period, for by 1766 Neo-classical silver and luxury objects were coming into favour. The figure scenes in contemporary dress are in the French manner. Similar figures were modelled as English porcelain figures, and also painted in enamel on copper boxes.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 21 parts.

  • Necessaire
  • Bottle With Stopper
  • Bottle With Stopper
  • Bottle With Stopper
  • Bottle With Stopper
  • Bottle With Stopper
  • Knife (Cutting Tool)
  • Case
  • Writing Tablet
  • Scissors
  • Implement
  • Implement
  • Implement
  • Implement
  • Combination Spoon and Needle
  • Pencil
  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Combination File and Tweezers
  • Mirror
  • Spoon
Materials and Techniques
Agate, mounted in gold, with bottles mounted in gold, and implements in silver, ivory, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell
Brief Description
Case for personal equipment, known as a 'nécessaire'
Dimensions
  • Closed height: 11.1cm
  • Width: 9.2cm
  • Depth: 7cm
Gallery Label
British Galleries: This type of elaborate personal accessory kit was inspired by the work of French goldsmiths of the late Rococo period. The use of hardstones was more typical of German work and the panels here may have been made by a German craftsman. The resultant box, however, is a distinctive London type.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Bequeathed by John Jones
Object history
Signed on the inside of the base by J. Pratbernon, probably the box maker
Summary
Object Type
A 'nécessaire' was a luxury object designed to hold a whole range of 'necessary' scent bottles and cosmetic and writing implements for use by a woman of fashion. The contents include five bottles with stoppers, a pencil and an ivory writing tablet, scissors, a mirror, a comb, a brush, toothpicks, a tongue scraper, a bodkin combined with a spoon for ear wax, and a file combined with a pair of tweezers.

People
Hidden away inside the box, visible only if the fittings are taken out, are the signature and date 'J. Pratbernon / 1766'. He was probably John Pratbernon, described as a gold and silver worker living in Oxford Street in 1774 (Westminster Poll Book). .

Design & Designing
To judge this casket by the most fashionable standards, it comes at the end of the Rococo period, for by 1766 Neo-classical silver and luxury objects were coming into favour. The figure scenes in contemporary dress are in the French manner. Similar figures were modelled as English porcelain figures, and also painted in enamel on copper boxes.
Collection
Accession Number
961:1 to 21-1882

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL