Georgian 18th century, circa 1770, gentleman’s silver and green rayskin/shagreen etui/necessaire with push button clasp. A tapering silver case fitted with eight original tools of: steel tweezers with file, silver straight edged razor with steel blade, note wafer which is actually 2 wafers joined by a grommet. The rest of the tools are silver, small hinged ruler, fruit knife, ink pen with nib, and another piece that might have been a pencil but is missing its nib and bodkin. The very fine green shagreen items of this era are the finest belly skins of stingray.
In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the term "shagreen" began to be applied to leather made from sharkskin or the skin of a rayfish. Such skins are naturally covered with round, closely set, calcified papillae called placoid scales, whose size is chiefly dependent on the age and size of the animal. These scales are ground down to give a roughened surface of rounded pale protrusions, between which the dye (again, typically green vegetable dye) shows when the material is colored from the other side. This latter form of shagreen was first popularized in Europe by Jean-Claude Galluchat, a master leather worker in the court of Louis XV of France. It quickly became a fashion among the French aristocracy and migrated throughout Europe by the mid-18th century."
Condition: There is one very small tear in the rayskin at the bottom as pictured and pencil nib is missing.
|3 1/2 in
|1 1/2 in