Named from the Old French word "estuier," meaning "to keep or hold," an étui is a very versatile item. These ornamental cases could be made of any material, from precious metals like gold or silver, to exotic materials such as tortoiseshell or shargreen, or shark's skin. Though many were used for more clandestine reasons, some also served the more practical purpose of holding small items such as scissors, thimbles, bodkins and needles, makeup pencils and even a doctor's lancet.
CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES
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