The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Louis-Philippe Demay (active between: 1758-1772) , Goldsmith
  • After François Boucher (1703 - 1770), scenes
  • Paris, France
  • 1764 - 1765
  • Gold and enamel, chiselled, chased and engraved
  • Object size: 3.9 x 8.9 x 6.3 cm
    Weight: 203.8 g
  • Maker's mark: Defaced partly
    Maker's mark: Includes 'L', 'P' and 'D' between them below, and bushy-top tree Parisian type
    Warden's mark: 'A' of the Maison Commune 1764-5
    Charge mark: Two bay leaf branches, for sous-fermier Jean-Jacques Prévost (1762-68)
    Discharge mark: A head of a dog, for Jean-Jacques Prévost (1762-68)
    Discharge mark: A head of a boar, for Julien Alaterre (1768-75)
    Inscription: 'D69', '84. 0. 0. / 5' Scratched
    Small guarantee mark: square with shells for 1838 to 1847
    Stamp: '325'
    Small guarantee mark: Eagle's head in profile, for 1838 to 1847
    Mark: Illegible
    Label: Exhibition catalogue entry
  • G39
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This oval gold snuffbox has been enamelled “en plein” (enamel applied directly onto the snuffbox) in translucent blue enamel within borders of gold chased with leaves, scrolls and foliage. There are six oval reserves each conjoined by concentric circles linked by laurel swags. The reserves along the walls depict putti, that on the cover depicts a lady playing with a putti, and on the base a lady with a dove. The interior of the box is gold.

    The reserves on the walls derive from prints after Boucher; the front and back are taken from “La Terre” (front) and “L'air” (back) both engraved by Jean Daullé. On the left is “La musique” after an engraving by L.-F. de la Rue.
    The source for the reserve on the cover and base are after paintings by Boucher owned by Madame de Pompadour. On the cover is “Amour desarmé”, and the base is taken from “La toilette de Vénus” which was painted by Boucher for the bathroom at the château of Bellevue in 1751. Both paintings were later owned by her brother the marquis de Marigny who probably inherited them on her death in 1764. As both paintings are in the same orientation as the originals, this would suggest that the enameller had seen the original paintings.

    Snuffboxes played an important role in fashion and self-promotion, in diplomacy and, in the 19th century, in collecting. Often they were used as a currently 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.