Oval table box in gold-plated 925/1000 silver with translucent fired enamels on guilloche with fine hand-engraved edges and with a beautiful miniature of a sailing boat enamelled and hand-painted by the painter Renato Dainelli. English style from the end of the 19th century.
The table box measures cm. 10.2x13x3.8. Weight gr. 515. Designed by Franco Salimbeni in 1984 and produced in the Salimbeni factory with manual processing by skilled craftsmen and artists with high thickness sheet metal and large reinforcements suitable for supporting numerous high-fire enamelling firings at around 800° C. Miniature is an ancient technique which consists of pictorial works in small proportions. It was created for the decoration of the first letter of the paragraph in books. Over the years, however, this technique is refined and enriched, to then move on to precious personal objects. Hand-painted miniatures can be made with many different techniques. The most important ones that we use on our articles are of three types: 1) Fired enamels. 2) Water tempera on ivory plate. 3) Painted on mother of pearl. Fire-enamelled miniatures: On a first layer of generally white or very light or even transparent enamel suitably liquefied at a temperature of approximately 750°C, the chosen subject is painted using miniature colors which are as many colored crystals, ground and reduced to a color very fine, almost impalpable powder, washed and purified in distilled water with the addition of small quantities of deoxidizing acids which, diluted with essential oils (usually solder essential oil), can be mixed to form a color palette. Using very fine marten hair brushes, the subject is drawn starting from the perimeter and then gradually adding various layers of colour. It is necessary to carry out several firings very often so that the colors harden and are not absorbed by the underlying enamel as, during subsequent firings at 750°C, during liquefaction, they would spread irremediably. Hence the need to form the picture a little at a time, cooking it numerous times. Therefore it is necessary to proceed with numerous touch-ups, often overlapping different colors that only the painter’s experience knows. A beautiful miniature requires from 20 to over 50 firings and is finished when the painter believes he does not need to intervene further. Some colors must have darker tones than others because then, by overlapping the transparent enamel placed at the end of the miniature, they fade. This transparent layer, called “melting” in jargon, must be smoothed and polished like all other translucent colored enamels. The miniatures with water tempera colors are painted on real ivory plates and are watercolor colors which, being delicate, must be protected by glass and, above all, must not undergo washing or anything else over time because they fear humidity.The miniatures on mother-of-pearl are original and typical Russian and are painted with acrylic colors on smooth and shiny mother-of-pearl plates. The mirrored mother-of-pearl background creates very delicate reflective effects.