Musical Box blue enamel sterling silver with guilloche. Large table box with mechanical musical movement with 3 different motifs from Reuge SA Switzerland in gold-plated 925/1000 sterling silver.
Musical Box has translucent fired enamels on sunburst guilloche and fine hand-engraved decorations in the style of the French Empire Napoleon III, on the lid and sides. The music box has a fine oval miniature cm. 4 x 5.3 reproducing the “Lady with an Ermine” fire enamelled by Leonardo da Vinci, hand painted by the painter Beatrice Mellana. Measures 10.7 x 19.7 cm. 7.8cm. high. Weight gr. 1,590-. Designed by Franco Salimbeni in 1970 and produced in Florence at the Salimbeni company headquarters with manual workmanship by skilled artisan artists with a very thick plate and large reinforcements suitable for supporting numerous high-fire enamelling firings at around 800° C.
There are about 700 different colors of nail polish, but in practical use today it is limited to about two hundred. However, the layering of different colors allows for an almost infinite range of combinations and shades that can degrade, even on the same object, the darker shades to the lighter ones, and vice versa. The object you want to create, which can then be covered with enamel, must be constructed with considerable attention to detail in relation to the subsequent application of the powdered glass. Assuming that it is made of silver, it is necessary to make sure that the plates are thick enough to resist the “firing” of the enamel at a high temperature not too far from the melting point of the silver. The fineness of the metal must also be chosen depending on the type of enamel to be applied, because some colors have taken on a different color depending on the greater or lesser quantity of alloy contained in the metal.
The welds must also be such as to prevent the deformation of the object exposed to the temperature of repeated firings for the liquefaction of the different colors of the enamel. Finally, the larger the object and the surface to be covered, the greater the effort and attention required to ensure that there are no distortions and depressions in the treated slabs. The surfaces to be coated must be surrounded by a slightly inclined step, which can contain the liquid enamel. Typically, the sheet is hollowed out to create usable space, while other times a fillet weld is performed around the sheet to be enameled. The hand-engraved pieces which reproduce landscapes, architecture and paintings from the Renaissance period are especially beautiful. Finally, before moving on to the enamel phase, each object must be cleaned with brushes and pickling acids with particular attention because, especially when working with silver, not all metal oxide enamels are compatible with silver oxide, for which it is necessary to eliminate it completely or at least with extreme care to avoid direct contact with the metal of certain colors, interposing a layer of transparent enamel.
Another very effective technique is that of “en ronde bosse” enamel, suitable for application on all-round enameled surfaces, such as figurines, eggs, etc. This technique is particularly difficult and delicate because the glass part is still fluid.