The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Berlin (probably), Germany
  • c. 1775
  • Three-colour gold, chiselled, engraved and chased
  • Object size: 4.2 x 9.2 x 4.5 cm
    Weight: 143.7 g
  • Maker's mark: Illegible, probably imitating that of a goldsmith registered in Paris before 1786
    Warden's mark: 'X' of the Maison Commune 1761-2
    Charge mark: A harrow, for the fermier Eloy Brichard (1756-62)
    Discharge mark: imitating the mark of Etienne Somfoye, Paris (1759-1762), used in Hanau and probably Berlin to indicate 18 carat gold.
    Mark: Illegible
    Mark: Illegible
    Label: Exhibition catalogue entry
  • G35
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Formerly thought to be French, both for reasons of style and because of a set of French marks struck in the gold, this box is now considered to be German and probably manufactured in Berlin. Neither the composition of the figures nor the treatment of the scrollwork is typical of Paris work, while it does have similarities to other German boxes, especially those similarly executed in coloured gold. The French marks are now believed to be in imitation of Paris work, no doubt put on the box in an effort to deceive. Moreover, the shape is too elongated for a French box that purports to date from 1761-62, as suggested by these false marks, and the colour of the gold does not seem to be French either.
    The varicoloured gold hunting scenes and pastoral trophies are set against a striated ground bordered by scrolls, foliage and flowers.