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Trinkets and trifles

In the 1700s desires and tastes among the upper classes, and an increasing enthusiasm for all types of artwork produced in France, led to a demand for decorative trinkets.

Local metal workers were able to adapt their skills and between 1760 and 1840 the industry produced many beautifully painted enamel objects.

Taking snuff, a mix of ground tobacco and spices, became very popular and this created an increased demand. Other small containers were also produced locally including patch boxes to hold beauty spots that covered blemishes, bonbonierres for sweet tasting seeds that freshened breath, and scent bottles to carry perfumes that masked bad odours.

The homes of fashionable society would also be adorned with beautifully painted enamelled ink pots and other writing accessories. Ladies would secure their needles and bodkins in exquisitely decorated cases and dress their homes with other items such as elegant candle sticks.