Previously unrecorded, this bonbonnière by Neuber is one of a number of his boxes that are set with micromosaics by the Italian artist Giacomo Raffaelli. Born in Neuwunsdorf on 7 April 1736, Johann-Christian Neuber was apprenticed at the age of seventeen to Johann Friedrich Trechaon. On 13 July 1762 he became a master of the goldsmith's guild in Dresden, and in 1769 he succeeded Heinrich Tadell as director of the Green Vaults. By 1775 he had been appointed Hofjuwelier to the court of Friedrich Augustus III. Neuber exploited Saxony’s rich resources of minerals and hardstones from the mines of Bohemia and Silesia for his gold boxes. The stones were set in a mosaic pattern between strips of gold, a technique called Zellen mosaik. A bonbonnière by Neuber in The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection, on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, is set with micromosaic panels of a dog on the cover and a butterfly on the base. The style of these, especially the butterfly on the base of the box, bear close relation to the mosaics of Giacomo Raffaelli and his studio. Raffaelli was Roman by birth and achieved notable success early in his career. By 1775 he was already well known as a skilled micromosaicist, creating complex compositions using tiny tesserae made from spun enamel of exceptional finesse, a technical innovation made possible through the work of the chemist Alessio Mattioli. He was extensively patronised by Pope Pius XV (d. 1799), and worked in both the Vatican workshops as well as from his own studio in the Piazza di Spagna. Raffaelli was also a successful dealer in high quality works of art - not all of which were made by him. His work often depicted butterflies, an insect which had in Roman times symbolised the belief that the soul leaves the body through the mouth at the time of death and so subsequently represented rebirth. The incorporation of Roman mosaics on boxes made in Dresden clearly demonstrates the popularity of this medium throughout Europe. For another butterfly micromosaic by Giacomo Raffaelli see D. Petochi, I mosaici minuti Romani, Florence, 1981, p. 111, pl. 33.