Pair of Vases with Box

gold, translucent champlevé enamel

vase height 19.5 cm ; box 7.6 x 12.6 cm

The use of 18-carat white gold became popular after the First World War. It could be enameled provided it was whitened with palladium, but not if it was alloyed with nickel or zinc.

The technical perfection of the enamelling of this set is indicative of how, at the end of the 20th century, old standards could be upheld. At the same time its design, loosely derived from Art Nouveau sources, embodies the innovative stasis that enveloped the art of enamelling at the end of the millennium.

Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 184, p. 263.