Halloween is upon us, and with it the annual tradition of dishing out tasty treats to the ghouls and goblins who come to visit. What better occasion to highlight one of the more remarkable items from the Nelson and Nelson gallery: a century-old museum-quality bonbonniere, or candy dish, made by the court jewelers to Kaiser Wilhelm II?
This magnificent bonbonniere consists of an agate candy/nut dish banded with German 900 silver and rests upon a fabulous and elaborate silver stand in the Indian style, which has been decorated with a pair of elephants with ivory tusks, an ivory figure of Buddha, and a pierced silver base inset with turquoise cabochons. The oval dish has been formed from an exceptionally fine quality piece of moss agate with beautiful lacy striations in a lovely rich, deep saturated shade of green swirling against a lighter, warmly shaded background. The dish is held in place by 4 elegantly designed pierced silver bands which attach to the truly spectacular supportive base in the form of an Indian temple, complete with a seated ivory Buddha guarded by a pair of beautifully made elephants. The miniature Buddha, seated calmly in the center and wearing an expression of complete serenity, is exquisitely depicted and has been crafted with exceptional skill and precision. He is flanked by a pair of reposing elephants whose trunks are raised upwards to symbolize good luck and prosperity. The temple has ornate arched doorways, prettily decorated with Eastern motifs, and rests upon a scalloped base completely surrounded by pierced work inset with cabochons of a sumptuously saturated shade of blue-green turquoise. These elements have all serendipitously combined to form a truly exceptional and unique work of art which would make a distinctive and sophisticated addition to any setting. It is in excellent, pristine condition throughout and has been clearly stamped on the base with a full set of German hallmarks and the name of the makers, Sy and Wagner of Berlin, the distinguished court jewelers to Kaiser Wilhelm II. This wonderful objet d’art measures approx. 6 ½” x approx. 3 ½” x approx. 6 ¼” tall.