Viennese enamel, rock crystal and silver toilet set


This exquisite nine-piece antique toilet set evokes the glamour of the Austro-Hungarian Imperial court, which was characterised by its opulence.


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The items in this fine Viennese toilet set are crafted from rock crystal and silver which is decorated with colourful enamel designs in the Renaissance style. Viennese craftsmen are well-known for their skill as gem-cutters, jewellers, goldsmiths and enamellists. These techniques are often combined to create exquisite objects, like this toilet set.

This set is comprised of a double-sided dressing table mirror, a pair of candlesticks, two perfume bottles, a pair of small ointment boxes, one long box and a pin tray. These items are stored within a specially-made wooden case. 

The mirror features a silver frame which is decorated with colourful enamel patterns. Its corners and top are mounted with triangular engraved rock crystal panels. The top panel is flanked by a pair of silver female figures, one of whom holds a mirror and the other brushes her hair. Similar silver sculptures of male courtiers decorate the sides of the mirror. The figures’ costumes and accessories are finely enamelled. The mirror stands on an enamelled silver stem with a bulbous centre. This is flanked by two silver male guards who wear enamelled helmets and armour and carry spears. The mirror is set on a rectangular silver base which is finely enamelled, decorated with jewel-like forms, and inset with engraved rock crystal. The base of the mirror stands on four silver monopodia supports, featuring Austro-Hungarian Imperial eagles—with enamelled crowns, wings and breastplates—on lion paw feet. These stand on a smooth black stone plinth.

Flanking the mirror are a pair of candlesticks which are of identical design. They are crafted from engraved rock crystal which is mounted with silver. The silver is finely enamelled with ‘jewels’ and colourful arabesques. Each candlestick stands on a square base which is set on four monopodia supports. The items feature knopped stems which are decorated with female figures, each stood on a single claw foot. The candlesticks’ stems are topped by capitals with flared sconces.

The perfume bottles, ointment boxes and long box are designed in a similar style. They feature engraved rock crystal bodies which are set within finely enamelled silver frames. Their corners and covers are topped by jewel-like details, and they rest on part-eagle part-lion monopodia supports.

The pin tray is of octagonal form. It features an engraved rock crystal centre which is ringed by eight rock crystal panels. These are set within silver borders which are decorated with enamel scrollwork and stylised foliage. The tray’s edge is mounted with enamelled silver Grotesque masks and Austro-Hungarian Imperial eagles.  

Wooden case: Height 45cm, width 53cm, depth 43cm
Mirror: Height 36cm, width 27.5cm, depth 15cm
Candlesticks: Height 21cm, width 10cm, depth 10cm


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Enamel, Rock Crystal, Silver
Black, Blue, Clear, Orange, Red, Silver


45 cm / 17.7 inches
53 cm / 20.9 inches
43 cm / 16.9 inches


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