The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Henri Bodson (active between: 1763-1789) , Goldsmith
  • Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe (1716 - 1794), (panel on lid)
  • Paris, France
  • 1766 - 1767
  • Gold and vellum and gouache, chased and painted
  • Object size: 3.7 x 8 x 5.8 cm
    Weight: 141.9 g
    Image size: 4.4 x 6.4 cm, miniature on lid
    Image size: 1.6 x 3.2 cm, miniature on front
    Image size: 4.2 x 6.2 cm, miniature on base
    Image size: 1.8 x 3.2 cm, miniature on back
    Image size: 1.6 x 3 cm, miniatures on sides
  • Maker's mark: Probably 'H' and 'B' between a crown or star
    Charge mark: A laurel branch, for Jean-Jaques Prévost (1762-68)
    Discharge mark: A hound's head, for Jean-Jaques Prévost (1762-68)
    Signature: 'v. Blarenberghe 1767'
    Date mark: 'C' for 1766-7
    Date mark: 'C' crowned, for 1766-7
    Mark: A sheep's head
    Date mark: 'B', for 1765-6
  • G42
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This oval gold snuffbox has been mounted with six miniatures painted in gouache on vellum under glass, mounted ‘à cage’ (method of placing plaques into a gold frame to create the box) into gold. The cover is set with a miniature under slightly domed glass signed “V Blarenberghe 1767” bordered by gold chased with acanthus against a matted ground. The walls of the box are set with four miniatures under glass also bordered by a moulded gold frame and scrolling foliage and rosettes on a matted ground. In between these are engraved oval panels. The interior of the box is gold.

    The miniatures represent domestic scenes, and may illustrate a contemporary novel or play. It is possible that they derive from Noel Hallé’s ‘L’education des pauvres’ and ‘L’education des riches’ which would have been exhibited in 1765.

    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.