Skip to content
Complimentary gift wrap & shipping - Order before 12/22
Complimentary gift wrap & shipping - Order before 12/22

Jean Dunand "Coquille d'Œuf" Eggshell Lacquer Case


Created by the master Jean Dunand, this 1920s silver gilt cigarette case is decorated in "Coquille-d’œuf," or eggshell lacquer. The slim case’s crackled white eggshell exterior is laid into a rich red lacquer ground that is subtly textured, and has a hinged lid opening to a polished silver-gilt compartment. A superb exemplar of a difficult and secretively guarded Asian technique re-mastered by Dunand, this exquisite little box serves the modern owner as a business card case or a desktop objet-de-virtu to handle and admire at leisure.

Add to Wishlist

  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: A-19993 
Artist: Jean Dunand, Paris 
Country: France 
Circa: 1920s 
Size: 3.50” length, 3.00” width, 0.375” depth 
Materials: Coquille d’œuf, or eggshell lacquer; Gilt silver (wear to gilding is commensurate with age) 
Signed: With maker’s marks for Jean Dunand, numbered “16257,” with French importation mark 
Literature: Similar red eggshell lacquer case by Dunand dating from circa 1924 is pictured in Art Deco Collectibles: Fashionable Objets from the Jazz Age, New York: Thames and Hudson, 2016, by Rodney and Diana Capstick-Dale, p. 21

In 1912, Jean Dunand began producing his celebrated lacquers. Instructed by Seizo Sugawara, an influential Japanese artist/craftsman with whom he exchanged bronze metalwork secrets for lessons in lacquer, Dunand mastered and advanced lacquer arts never before practiced in Europe, but only poorly approximated by means of synthetic imitations. To create this lustrous surface with its fascinating craquelure, eggshell fragments (contributed by Dunand’s own flock of little Parisian hens) would be sifted for size and arrayed artistically into numerous layers of natural exotic tree resins, painstakingly processed over months by age-old methods and colored with metal oxides.