Toothpick cases in gold and enamel to carry your toothpicks in when you go out to dinner. So much nicer than picking your teeth with a knife. All of these from the 18th century, more or less.

Rectangular toothpick case with cut corners, the lid painted en-plein with a staghunt, probably by Jean-Louis Richter. Taille d’épargne lozenge border set with rose diamonds and the sides and base enameled in translucent blue over striped engine-turning. Red leather case. ca. 1800. Made in Geneva, Switzerland. Gold, jewels and enamel. Maker’s marks: unmarked apart from French hibou control. Image © 2020 Sotheby’s. Fair use license. via
Toothpick case in an unusual shape with a lid painted en-plein with a view of a river and the bottom and borders enameled in opaque black and pale blue. ca. 1800. Probably made in Hanau, Germany. Gold and enamel. Maker’s marks: “GW” between two cartwheels. Image © 2020 Sotheby’s. Fair use license. via

Toothpick case with a rectangular narrow box with rounded ends. Cover, sides, and base set with panels of translucent lime-green enamel on an engine turned ground stamped at intervals with pellets, within white enamel bead and chevron borders. The interior of the cover set with a mirror, 1780-1781.Louis XVI. Made in Paris, France. Gold and enamel. The flange engraved “Du Petit Dunkerke.” Joseph Etienne Blerzy maker (fl. 1768-1808). Maker’s marks: charge and discharge marks of Henri Clavel for 1780-1782. Struck with inventory number 974. Image © CHRISTIE’S 2020. Fair use license. via

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