Various cultures around the world have a great deal of influence on my work. La Boîte à Bijoux Chinoise or The Chinese Jewel Box is one where the intersection of 2 cultures gave birth to this happy creation.
During my recent sojourn to the beautiful Loire Valley of France, I had the great fortune to stay at the beautifully restored neoclassical Château du Grand-Lucé. At the Château there is a beautiful room called the Salon Chinois or the Chinese Salon with beautiful paintings by Jean-Baptiste Pillement. Pillement was a highly regarded muralist of the 18th century who counted among his patrons Louis XV, Mdm de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette. The murals in the Salon Chinois is one of only 3 completely intact remaining today. Chinoiserie was absolutely de rigueur during the period and this beautiful room had it in abundance.
The beautiful Chinese pavilions depicted in the murals with their curved hip roofs (庑殿顶 or wǔdiàndǐng) and resting hill roofs (歇山顶 or xiēshāndǐng) immediately leapt out to me and La Boîte à Bijoux Chinoise was born. The body of this small but intricate jewellery box is my interpretation of these Chinese style roofs with its elegant and seemingly interwoven curves. Embellished with nothing more than delicious magatamas or drop beads, the box is totally self-supporting and is woven completely in peyote. The lid is topped with a beautiful Czech gold foiled cabochon to create a precious “roof” for the jewellery box. The box sits on “legs” made of delightful Baroque cabochons. The number 8 is also extremely important to the Chinese as it is associated with wealth, prosperity and fortune. As such, La Boîte à Bijoux Chinoise is woven with 8 distinct repeats and sits on 8 “legs” to ensure that the owner of the box will be imbued with the power of the number 8.
A happy confluence of Chinese inspired architecture found in a French chateau.
To purchase additional gold foiled cabochons please click here.