Don’t miss your chance to see Gold, Jasper, and Carnelian: Johann Christian Neuber at the Saxon Court at The Frick Collection before it closes at the end of next week, August 19. The New York Times called it the “sleeper of the summer.” In 18th century Saxony (part of Germany), one of Dresden’s most illustrious jewelers, Johann Christian Neuber revived the art of the gift of gems. Since antiquity, gemstones have been traded and gifted among the elite as tokens of taste and wealth. By decorating small, gold boxes with local gems, such as jasper and carnelian, Neuber re-imagined this exchange of refined civilities in a new form. He decorated his boxes with enchanting and complex designs like the box above using a technique known as Zellenmosaik (cell mosaic). Responding to aristocratic enthusiasm, Neuber created the Steinkabinettabatiere (stone cabinet snuffbox). His most popular works, snuffboxes figure prominently in this exhibition, the first comprehensive one of Neuber’s career. Inspired by Neuber’s boxes, here are some of our favorite boxes.
From Michael’s Antiques.