Austrian Museum of Applied Art, Vienna
This elegant little box was done by Karl Franz in 1912. The materials are pear wood, bronzed pear wood, and abalone.
Abalone is such a mesmerizing material. The colors dance as you move your eye. Here it is beautifully set off in the ebonized pear. The elliptical shapes of the shell mimic the elliptical shape of the box. There is a lovely interplay between the vertical geometry of the steps and the elliptical shell.