Luxury Materials

Eighteenth-century France was home to a number of new, luxury items that today are commonplace. New imports, like coffee and chocolate, were considered delicacies, and silver and porcelain dining services were used to showcase the magnificence of the goods and the skill of the artisan who crafted them. Gold was crafted into snuffboxes, palm-sized containers used to hold a form of powered tobacco, and other small pieces, while gilt bronze was used on light fixtures, clocks, and other furniture to reflect light at night. Lacquered wood, imported from Japan, was prominently featured in wealthy households, and was often placed directly against gilt bronze fixtures, displaying the wealth and sophistication of the owner.