The Comte Thierry de Looz-Corswarem Fund has acquired four large silver toiletry boxes that have been in the same family since 1905. It is extremely rare that such a set has been kept together.
The boxes were created by silversmith Bertholet Labeen de Lambermont in 1693, at the request of Charles Antoine de Salms (1657-1698), son of Antoine, tax collector for the cathedral and the States of Liege, and Catherine Gruysen, who came from a family involved in nail production and arms trading. Bertholet accepted several commissions from the de Salms family and is one of our most eminent representatives in the field of Baroque silverwork.
The plant decor, around the de Salms’s family coat of arms, consists of wide, cut foliage and flowers on a matt base and is typical of the Baroque style, which reached its zenith in Liege at the end of the 17th century.
These boxes would have been made to put on a lady’s dressing table or vanity. Old prints, showing women at their toilette, depict similar boxes. They were used for storing perfumed powders, sponges, jewellery and hair accessories.
The 4 boxes are now in the Preciosa room of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.