Swedish Ävdalen porphyry box, silver-gilt knob, Sweden, beginning of the 19th century
After the discovery of a porphyry deposit in 1730 by the pastor of the Älvdalen church, Eric Näsman, this stone was described by the Mines College as follows : « the redish hard marble with dark or whitish grain is called porphyry, making it so hard that no steel can bite it ». This Älvdalen porphyry presents a wide variety of colors and textures with around ten types of distincts porphyrys, such as the red rannas.
Swedish porphyries come in a wide variety of colours and textures, the Älvdalen area itself had approximately 10 distinct types and the red rannas is one of them.
The begiginning of this porhyry deposit in Sweden led to remarkable productions of gilt chiselled bronze mounted vase. The king Karl IV Johann, king of Sweden between 1818 and 1844, really apprecited these objects of various forms and use. The work of the porphyry took time : cutting a bloc of 60cm thick could take a year. A cylindrical butter box took six sessions of twelve hours of work. They were given as diplomatical gifts to some french dignitaries or sold untreated in Stockholm and Göteborg to special agents or french marchand-merciers who dressed them with gilt-bronze.
1 500 €