From almost the start of recorded history, jewellery has been used as a symbol of power and prosperity. However, the competitive nature of the upper echelons of society dictates that new, more impressive, ways to display one’s wealth are always in demand. For the aristocrats of the 18th century, this meant re-imagining jewellery boxes – a previously functional accessory – as an ornate symbol of affluence. For those who could afford the services of a craftsman, creating the most expensive and intricate jewellery box became a matter of personal pride. As a result, a case became not only a means of protecting valuables, but also a work of art in itself, alluding simultaneously to the value of the jewels that lay within it and the wealth of its owner.