1

Lot 2. An Italian tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl and gold piqué dish, Naples, mid-18th century. Estimate 4,000 — 6,000 EUR. Lot sold 4,750 EUR. Photo: Sotheby's

of oval scalloped outline, decorated with foliage and shells, with two hunters amongst ruins and a village scene. Long. 19 cm., larg. 15,3 cm. ; Length 7½in., width 6in.

Note: Attributed to the Neapolitan jeweller and silversmith, Laurenzini in the mid-17th century, the procedure of the "piqué" involves softening the tortoiseshell in order to impress the mother-of-pearl or gold design and silver strips and thereby create a pattern without using any glue. 

Four different techniques are described in Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie (1751) : "point d'or", where minute holes are filled with melted gold or silver, "coulé", which is the same technique used for linear engravings, "incrusté" made with mother-of-pearl or gold plaques, "posé", with the technique of combining all three previous methods, employed for the most luxurious pieces.

Sotheby's. Excellence Française, Paris, 28 Nov 2017