Objets de Vertu

Frida van Boxtel
Specialised in a.o. Sewing Tools, Textiles, Juwelry, Boxes and Handbags






Objets de Vertu; an introduction

The Italian word "virtu", its principal meaning being moral virtue, was originally used to attribiute some kind of value to conduct or action. In the 17 th century in the Italian language the meaning of the word shifted and moved towards the concept of beauty when art was concerned. The words "virtu"and "virtuoso" appear in the European vacabulary of literature and fine arts. Also the French word "vertu" can then be found in many travel diaries from this period. 

During the 18th century in the laguage of arts gradually the word "vertu" gets again another meaning.It is no longer used to indicat a frat artist of a masterpiece but "vertu" has become the term that is predominantly used by artists and collectors for a certain type of objeccts which are sucsequently called "objets de vertu."

What are now those "objets de vertu"? A large number of different expressions of decorative art, of small to medium format, can be identified as "objets de vertu". A general  characteristic is that they are small masterpieces of taste and originality, made by highly qualified craftsman who applied all ther professional skills and talents for the manufacturing of objects of beauty.




A selection from my extensive collection