Miniature Panorama of Lake Geneva

copper, painted enamel, gilt-wood and gesso frame

6.6 x 17.3 cm

From the early years of the 19th century, capitalizing upon the number of tourists who passed through the city and wished to have a souvenir of their visit, the enamellers of Geneva responded by painting plaques of certain views – perhaps the most favoured being the view of Mont Blanc from Pregny – that were then variously mounted on snuff boxes, vinaigrettes and brooches. The present plaque is unusual in that it seeks to show a panoramic view of the entire lake. Other Swiss subjects entered the decorative repertoire, such as the château de Chillon and the Staubbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen, and were used whether or not the souvenir element was relevant.

Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 207, pp. 290–1.