Spain, Eibar. Iron, gold, silver.
Private collection, Spain
Eusebio Zuloaga (1808-1898) came from a family of armourers and metalworkers known for the virtuoso quality of their iron chiselling and damascening. For a detailed account of the Zuloaga family and their works see LAVIN, James, The Art and Tradition of the Zuloagas: Spanish Damascene from the Khalili Collection, Madrid 1997.
With small bag-shaped body of blued iron and formed of two halves, both sides decorated over the greater part of their surfaces with a complex interlace of acanthus scroll-work emerging from a scrolling strap-work frame and chiselled in relief on a contrasting stippled gilt ground, enclosing on both sides a minutely beaded oval filled with a gold-encrusted arabesque pattern of fine leafy tendrils carrying a grotesque mask in their centre, the damascened patterns differing over the respective sides, and fitted with threaded silver-encrusted patent top with spring-loaded measure and adjustable aperture: in its oval lidded desktop case, also of blued iron, with four moulded baluster feet, the interior contour-fitted for the sander, the latter secured by a collar and a sliding catch, the interior decorated with panels of leafy scrolls damascened in silver on a blued matted finely stippled ground and with a silver arabesque in the lid, the exterior decorated about the sides with differing patterns arranged in bands picked-out in both gold and silver damascening, the lid decorated at its centre with a shaped cartouche filled with a rustic riverside vignette of the god Pan sleeping, attended by cherub and all damascened in gold and silver, and signed on the base “Zuloaga ano 1854”.
Size: Height 5.8 cm / 2.3 in, Length 14.5 cm / 5.7 in, Width 10.2 cm / 4 in