Miniature Treasures Small Scale Collectibles Make Big Appearance After 88 Years

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Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions will present for sale an ornate gold box by the master Saxon court jeweller Johann Christian Neuber (1736-1808).  Unseen for 88 years this exceptional sale will take place on December 3rd in the Iconic Jewels & Treasures sale. The piece is one of 14 miniature masterpieces to be offered in the auction from an important American collection of 18th and 19th century European gold boxes.


Johann Christian Neuber was a goldsmith and mineralogist at the Saxon Court. In 1769 he became director of the Grünes Gewölbe, the magnificent State Treasury, and was appointed court jeweler in 1775. He specialized in creating small gold boxes, chatelaines and watchcases decorated with semiprecious stones, such as agate, jasper and carnelian. Neuber fashioned enchanting landscapes, complex floral designs and geometric patterns out of tiny cut stones, often incorporating Meissen porcelain plaques, cameos and miniatures. These one-of-a-kind objects are treasured in public and private collections all over the world today.
This excellent example of a Neuber ‘Steinkabinett Tabatiere’ bonbonniere hails from the late 18th century and features a micromosaic plaque from the workshop of Giacomo Raffaelli (1753-1836), an Italian mosaicist celebrated from recreating Leonard da Vinci’s Last Supper in mosaic. This box was last recorded as being sold in the Ball-Graupe sale in Berlin in 1927, remaining in a family collection for the past 88 years [est. £150,000-250,000].

There is another super star that will be presented during this exceptional sale, it is a jewelled gold and enamel snuff box with timepiece and musical automaton, engraved Decombaz & Rich London. The names Louis Decombaz and John Rich are among those linked with the production of the musical automata that flourished in Geneva at the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries [est. £200,000-30,000].


These amazing objects were a symbol of the social elite. These ornate gold boxes were favored as diplomatic gifts in 18th century Europe. In the early 19th century they became highly collectible objects and their exquisite craftsmanship has ensured this collectible status has remained to this day.

Visit the official website of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury to learn more about the different auctions. 

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions is the trading name of The Fine Art Auction Group, and is a UK ‘top 4’ auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. It covers all aspects of fine art and antiques, with market leading specialists in Traditional Furniture, Clocks and Paintings, Contemporary Art and Design, Modern Prints, Books and Works on Paper, Fine Jewellery and Objects of Vertu, Asian Art and Fine Wine.


Info sourced at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury official communication release. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are used for illustration purposes only. 

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