An oval box modelled as a leopard curled up on a grassy mound; plain brass mount with hinged, slightly domed lid/base; body of box has upright sides with only the top modelled. The leopard is painted in a comical style in near natural colours. The lid/base has a white ground colour painted with a bouquet of flowers within a dot-and-dash border in blue and maroon.
Gallery text panel Harold Raby Collection Harold Raby was charmed by English enamels finding them 'dainty and pretty, quaint and curious'. As a boy, he inherited a tiny, battered enamel box which inspired him to collect over 400 more items during the first half of the 20th century. These enamels were mainly made in Staffordshire and were fashionable from about 1750 to 1820. For Raby, they evoked a lost age of elegance and gave an insight into outmoded social customs. A local bank manager, Raby only had moderate means but he tried to buy examples of every type of object produced by the short-lived English enamel industry. He acquired boxes for face patches, snuff and tobacco, candlesticks, perfume bottles, tea caddies....... He even risked air raids to attend sales in London. Eventually, boxes outnumbered every other item and gave his collection an obsessive quality.
Object: 3cm x 5.4cm
Place of creation
[G1] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 1
Harold Raby bequest
© Manchester Art Gallery