The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • François-Nicolas Génard (1723 at least 1790) , Goldsmith
  • After Carle Vanloo (1705 - 1765), scenes
  • Paris, France
  • 1761 - 1763
  • Gold and enamel, chased, engraved and chiselled
  • Object size: 3.9 x 7 x 5.4 cm
    Weight: 148.3 g
  • Maker's mark: 'F N' with 'G' below and a fleur-de-lys Parisian type
    Warden's mark: 'X' of the Maison Commune 1761-62
    Warden's mark: 'y' of the Maison Commune 1762-3
    Charge mark: Two bay leaf branches, for tax official Jean-Jacques Prévost (1762-68)
    Charge mark: A harrow, for fermier Eloy Brichard (1756-62)
    Discharge mark: A head of a dog, for the fermier Jean-Hacques Prévost (1762-68)
    Warranty mark: A ram's head in profile, for 1819 to 1838
  • G34
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This oval gold snuffbox has been enamelled “en plein” (enamel applied directly to the box) with six reserves of Oriental scenes. Surrounding the reserves is a chased borders of shells, foliates and flowers. The walls are divided by four volute pilasters, also decorated with husks and flowers. The interior of the box is gold.
    The Oriental or “Turquerie” (18th century term for the fashion of imitating Turkish art and style in western art and design) scenes have been associated with paintings by Carle Van Loo, for the decoration of Madame de Pompadour’s Turkish bedroom at Bellevue, though no source has been traced.
    There have been some alterations to this box; the hinge has either been replaced or restored and the way the enamel sits on the surface suggests that it might have been repainted, perhaps due to damage or perhaps due to a change of tastes.”Turqueries” scenes were very popular in the mid to early 19th century, so it is possible the enamel might date from this time.
    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.