A Victorian burr timber and brass games box. Last quarter 19th…
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A Victorian burr timber and brass games box. Last quarter 19th century. The casket shaped box with fine figuration and gothic brass mounts and strapwork with remnant pietra dura jewels, partitioned to the interior and including ivory cribbage boards and markers and a selection of card packs, dice, chess pieces and old coinage. Height 8.5 cm. Width 30 cm. Depth 19 cm

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  • Ivory - Ivory is a hard white material that comes from the tusks of elephants, mammoth, walrus and boar, or from the teeth of hippopotamus and whales. The ivory from the African elephant is the most prized source of ivory. Although the mammoth is extinct, tusks are still being unearthed in Russia and offered for sale.

    Ivory has been used since the earliest times as a material for sculpture of small items, both in Europe and the east, principally China and Japan.

    In Asia ivory has been carved for netsuke, seals, okimono, card cases, fan supports, animals and other figures and even as carved tusks.

    In the last 200 years in Europe ivory has been used to carve figures, for elaborate tankards, snuff boxes, cane handles, embroidery and sewing accessories, in jewellery and as inlay on furniture. Its more practical uses include being used for billiard balls, buttons, and a veneers on the top of piano keys.

    The use and trade of elephant ivory have become controversial because they have contributed to Due to the decline in elephant populations because of the trade in ivory, the Asian elephant was placed on Appendix One of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), in 1975, and in January 1990, the African elephant was similarly listed. Under Appendix One, international trade in Asian or African elephant ivory between member countries is forbidden. Unlike trade in elephant tusks, trade in mammoth tusks is legal.

    Since the invention of plastics, there have been many attempts to create an artificial ivory
  • Pietra Dura / Florentine Mosaic - Pietre dura, also known in English as "Florentine mosaic" is a decorative art that originated in Renaissance Italy and involves the creation of intricate, multi-layered inlaid designs using a variety of different coloured stones. The name "pietre dura" is Italian for "hard stones," and refers to the use of hard, durable materials such as marble, agate, jasper, and other semiprecious stones in the creation of the designs.

    The origin of pietre dura can be traced back to ancient Rome, where the technique was used to create intricate inlaid designs for mosaic floors, walls, and other architectural elements. During the Renaissance, the technique was revitalized in Italy and became particularly associated with the city of Florence. The court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de' Medici, was a major patron of pietre dura and employed many of the leading artists and craftsmen of the time to create a wide range of objects, from small items like jewelry boxes and vases to large panels and furniture.

    In the 19th century, pietre dura was used to create a wide range of decorative objects, from furniture and decorative panels to small items like jewelry boxes, vases, and picture frames. During this time, the technique was particularly popular in Europe, where it was used to create elaborate pieces of furniture and other decorative objects for the wealthy and aristocratic classes.

    In addition to traditional pietre dura objects like cabinets, tables, and vases, the 19th century saw the development of new forms of pietre dura, such as book covers, cigar boxes, and other small items. This was largely due to the advent of new, more affordable production techniques and materials, which allowed for the creation of pietre dura objects on a larger scale and at a lower cost.
  • Victorian Period - The Victorian period of furniture and decorative arts design covers the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. There was not one dominant style of furniture in the Victorian period. Designers used and modified many historical styles such as Gothic, Tudor, Elizabethan, English Rococo, Neoclassical and others, although use of some styles, such as English Rococo and Gothic tended to dominate the furniture manufacture of the period.

    The Victorian period was preceded by the Regency and William IV periods, and followed by the Edwardian period, named for Edward VII (1841 ? 1910) who was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India for the brief period from 1901 until his death in 1910.
  • Burr - Burr (or in the USA, burl) is the timber from the knotted roots or deformed branch of the tree, which when cut, displays the small circular knots in various gradations of colour. It is always cut into a decorative veneer, most commonly seen as burr walnut on 19th century furniture.

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