The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Jean-Marie Tiron (active between: 1748 - 1773) , Goldsmith , (called Tiron de Nanteuil, or Tiron le cadet)
  • Paris, France
  • 1759 - 1760
  • Gold
  • Object size: 4.2 x 7.9 x 3.9 cm
    Weight: 155 g
  • Maker's mark: Three letters including 'M' in middle and 'T' below and a triangle. Mark of Jean-Marie Tiron (called Tiron de Nanteuil or Tiron le Cadet), goldsmith registered in Paris 27 November 1748 until before November 1773; this mark used until 11 December 1761.
    Warden's mark: Probably 't' of the Maison Commune 1759-60 or possibly 'r'. Wardens mark for gold, Paris, 13 July 1795 - 11 July 1760.
    Charge mark: A harrow, The charge for gold for the fermier Eloy Brichard and Etienne Somfoye, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1762.
    Discharge mark: A shell, for the fermier of Eloy Brichard and Etienne Somfoye, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1762.
    Stamp: 'No. 928'
  • G26
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • A rectangular, varicoloured gold snuffbox with six reserves enclosed by foliage, shells and scroll ornament. The reserves contain charming pastoral scenes and motifs, such as the standoff between the dog and bird on the cover, or the cockerel and hen with their chicks in a farmyard on the base. On all the reserves the scenes have been set against a chased background of horizontal striations. A full palette of four colours of gold has been used: red, yellow, green and white.
    The maker of this box, Jean-Marie Tiron, used two different marks at different points in his career, one mark registered in 1748 and one registered on 11 December 1761. It is thought that the second mark was registered when he took over Jean Ducrollay's workshop as both Jean Ducrollay and his brother Jean-Claude Ducrollay surrendered their marks the next day.
    Snuffboxes played an important role in fashion and self-promotion, diplomacy and, in the 19th century, in collecting. Often they were used as a currency for their monetary values and the status they could embody. Their practical purpose was often secondary – they were highly valued as art objects in their own right. Gold boxes were a barometer of the taste of the time and exemplify the skills of not only goldsmiths, but also enamellers, lapidaries and miniature painters.