The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • After David Teniers the Younger (1610 - 1690), scenes
  • Paris, France
  • 1759 - 1760
  • Gold and enamel
  • Object size: 3.5 x 6 x 4.8 cm
    Weight: 102.8 g
  • Charge mark: A harrow, the charge for the fremiers Eloy Brichard and Etienne Somfoye, Paris, 1 October 1756 until 1 October 1762. Almost totally erased in the lid and in the front wall.
    Warden's mark: The wardens Maison Commune mark for gold, Paris, 13 July 1759 - 11 July1 760. Almost totally erased in the lid.
    Discharge mark: A shell, the fermier of Eloy Brichard and Etienne Somfoye, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1762.
    Mark: The french provincial third standard mark (poincon de titre) for gold, (18carat), 16 August 1819 - 9 May 1838.
    Small guarantee mark: An eagle's head in profile, the restricted warranty mark (petite garantie) for gold, Paris, 10 May 1838 - 31 December 1846.
    Discharge mark: A fly, The decharge mark for old work of the adjudicataire des fermes generales unies, Jean-Jacques Prévost, Paris, 1 October 1762 - 1 October 1768.
    Large guarantee: A bearded man's head in profile, all within an oval compartment. The French provincial large excise mark (poincon de garantie) for gold, Valognes, 16 August 1819 - 9 May 1838.
    Small guarantee mark: The restricted warranty mark (petite garantie) for gold, Paris, 10 May 1838 - 31 December 1846.
    Mark: Possibly the post-revolutionary unoffcial second standard mark for gold, probably of 20.25 carat with a tolerence of three grains, used in Paris between 1798 - 1838.
    Stamp: 'I' incuse. Roman numeral
  • G29
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This oval gold snuff box has been enamelled en plein (enamel applied directly onto the box) with six reserves depicting domestic genre scenes, all bordered by chased intertwined ribbon pattern (guilloche) with a hatched background. The interior of the lid has an added sheet of gold, held in place by a sprung rim, presumably replacing a miniature. The interior of the box is gold but of a different standard.
    The scene on the cover of a man and a woman eating at a table in a rustic interior is taken from” L'Enfant Prodigue”, engraved by Jacques-Philippe Le Bas after a painting by David Teniers of 1644. The other scenes are unidentified but also recall Flemish genre scenes.
    There are a large number of eighteenth and nineteenth century marks on this box, suggesting it has changed hands and been altered many times.
    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.