Canine meets Chimera: havoc ensues. Or so goes the tale told by this dramatic metal box, set with glowing cabochons. The dreadful creature under attack, a monster worthy of Hieronymous Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, sports the modified head of a Gorgon, the hind end of a pig, and the webbed feet of an amphibian. While the scene clearly represents a struggle, it resists certain interpretation. In technique, the box and its ornamentation suggest jewelry, book covers, and reliquaries that were made for the elite of the medieval church and state. Marks: embossed artist's name at top right corner.
About Alfred Daguet
Alfred-Louis-Achille Daguet was a metalsmith who specialized in repoussé copper panels made for application to hinged boxes, mantel clocks, picture frames, album covers, and elements of desk sets. His delicately rendered images of flowers, birds, sea creatures, bats, and an occasional gorilla were enriched with colorful cabochons, giving them a medieval appearance. Daguet, whose workshop was located above Siegfried Bing's famed boutique L'Art Nouveau, provided Bing's shop with metal-clad objets d'art. Famed actress Sarah Bernhardt owned pieces designed by Daguet. His work was exhibited at La Société des Artistes Français in 1903 and 1904. [Source: Jason Jacques]