"Needle Case, Sandblasted Beads And Ivory, Early 19th Century"Needle case in sandblasted beads. Geometric decoration of zigzags, triangles and small circles. Ivory interior. BEGINNING OF THE XIXth CENTURY. Dimensions: length 9.2 cm x diameter 1.5 cm. Little misses of pearls. The technique of shortbread, now extinct, has long remained a real mystery. At the end of the 17th century, objects of utter perfection appeared in France, which developed in the 18th century and continued into the first half of the 19th century. Neither woven, nor knitted, nor crocheted, there are more than 150 tiny beads (about 1mm) per square centimeter. The name "sandblasted" simply reminds us that the refined objects made of it are covered with pearls as fine as sand. Recent research has established with certainty that shortbread is a technique that combines threading knotting, closer to some lace stitches that embroidery. Arranged in staggered rows, the tiny pearls form a tight mosaic. The threading is done on silk threads, arranged in rows respecting the desired pattern. These son are then stretched on a frame and the rows of beads are connected to each other by a knotted network which positions each bead and gives stability to the fabric thus obtained. The decorative motifs are made of flowers, characters or animals, sometimes accompanied by a dedication. This meticulous work is going to be applied to some precious and elegant objects such as boxes, pouches, purses or chaplains, bindings of notebook, necessary cases, even shoes or cladding of costume. The production is so unimportant that it is attributed to anonymous hands, monasteries or ladies of the nobility. Intended as early as the 18th century for high society and sometimes also made by princely hands, it is also said that this art was taught, on the advice of the Marquise de Maintenon, to the residents of the Royal House of Saint Cyr, in charge of the education of young noble and poor girls. This art develops in the first half of the nineteenth century before dying out.