Nécessaire

Maker: Watchmaker: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800)

Date: ca. 1770–72

Culture: British, London

Medium: Case: moss agate, mounted in gold and set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds; silver; Dial: white enamel, with frame pavé-set with paste jewels

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed): 3 3/8 × 3 9/16 × 2 1/8 in. (8.6 × 9 × 5.4 cm);
Overall (.128b–e): 1 1/16 x 1 x 13/16 in. (2.7 x 2.5 x 2.1 cm);
Overall (.128f): 15/16 x 7/8 x 13/16 in. (2.4 x 2.2 x 2.1 cm);
Overall (.128g, h): 3/4 x 1 3/8 x 15/16 in. (1.9 x 3.5 x 2.4 cm);
Overall (.128i): 1 1/8 x 2 7/8 x 7/8 in. (2.9 x 7.3 x 2.2 cm);
Overall (.128j–m, each): 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm);
Overall (.128n): 2 3/8 in. (6 cm);
Overall (.128o): 1 5/16 in. (3.3 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Gold and Platinum

Credit Line: Gift of Florence Harris Van der Kemp, 1957

Accession Number: 57.128a–o

Description

Containing dark inclusions that resemble moss or ferns, the milky white mineral decorating this sumptuous nécessaire is known as moss agate. It is found in multiple areas around the world, including Central Europe. In addition to various toilet implements, the case contains a watch and an automaton and is an excellent example of the complex and ambitious objects made in the workshop of James Cox.

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