Soap and sponge boxes

Marked by C. Louis Gérard

Not on view

Matching spherical boxes such as this pair were often made to accompany a silver shaving basin—an oval bowl with a broad notched rim that allowed the basin to be pressed against a gentleman’s neck while he was being shaved. The decorative piercing on the sponge box had a practical purpose: it allowed air to circulate to dry the damp sponge. The unpierced box accommodated a piece of soap, which, in the eighteenth century, was purchased in a ball rather than a bar.

Soap and sponge boxes, Marked by C. Louis Gérard (1697–1759, master 1716), Silver, French, Douai (Lille Mint)

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.