Public: An oblong box, of a wavy outline with a chased metal mount and hinged lid. Enamel on metal and finely painted on the lid with 'Les Amants' after an engraving of a painting by Jean Marc Naffler of a lady and gentleman sitting on a mound, the sides are painted with four fishing, dancing and pastoral scenes, all are enclosed in gilt scroll borders on a white ground. Private: An oblong box, of a wavy outline with a chased metal mount and a hinged lid. Enamel on metal and finely painted on the lid with 'Les Amants' a copy of an engraving published in 1751 of a painting by Jean Marc Naffler showing a man and woman in early 18th century costume seated together on a mound. There is a table set with fruit at their side the man pours wine from a bottle into a glass held out by the lady. The sides are painted with four fishing, dancing and pastoral scenes, and under the bottom, on a raised panel, is a painting of a peacock standing on an ornamental base in a garden near a lake in the style of John Hancock. All the paintings are enclosed in gilt scroll borders on a white ground decorated with floral sprays and scrolls in gold.
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.
Place of creation
Harold Raby bequest
© Manchester Art Gallery