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French

Box 1775

RCIN 4730

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Oval gold and enamel hinged box. Cover with an oval painted enamel plaque painted with a scene of Mars and Venus, straight sides divided into panels of blue guilloché enamel divided by chased gold borders. The tale of the god of war, Mars, being tamed by the goddess of love, Venus, was a popular one in art from the Renaissance onwards. The presence of the infant Cupid, the god of love, in this scene adds to the symbolism of love disarming the strong. The subject was often associated with betrothal and the box may originally have been intended as an engagement gift.