The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Possibly Pierre-Jean Briceau , Goldsmith
  • Possibly Pierre-Jean Bellanger (active between: 1754-1793), Goldsmith
  • Paris, France
  • 1758 - 1759
  • Gold and enamel
  • Object size: 3.3 x 7.9 x 4 cm
    Weight: 131.2 g
  • Maker's mark: Goldsmiths mark PJB, a crowned fleur-de-lys, and two grains de remede, probably for Pierre-Jean Bellanger, goldsmith registered in Paris, 14 April 1754 until at least 1793. Or possibly for Perrie-Jean Briceau, goldmsith regisitered in Paris, 7 February 1725 - until before the 12 December 1761.
    Warden's mark: 'S' of the Maison Commune mark for gold, Paris, 21 July 1758 - 13 July 1759.
    Charge mark: A harrow, for the fermier Eloy Brichard, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1759.
    Discharge mark: A shell, for the fermier Eloy Brichard and Ettienne Somfoye, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1762.
    Small guarantee mark: Eagle's head in profile, the restricted warranty mark (petite garantie) for gold, Paris, 1 January 1847 onwards. Struck twice
    Countermark: The countermark of the fermier general des fermes unies Jean-Jacques Prevost, Paris, 1 October 1762 - 1 October 1768.
  • G28
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This oval gold box has six enamelled reserves en plein (enamelled directly onto the box) showing still life scenes of dead game and hunting acoutriments. These are flanked either side with four further reserves painted in imitation agate. The gold is decorated with chased gadroons which has been enamelled in dark green, with stylised shells above and below the reserves.
    There is some confusion over the maker of the this box, as both P.-J Bellanger and P.-Briceau registered the same mark, and no differentiating symbol. However, P.-J Briceau could have been related to the Briceau who, together with Mondhare, published a book of designs on imitation moss agate.
    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.