The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Jean-François Breton (1713 - c. 1791) , Goldsmith
  • Henry Bone (1755 - 1834), Painter, (miniature)
  • Paris, France
  • c. 1770 - 1771
  • Gold and enamel, chased and engraved
  • Object size: 3.5 x 8.3 x 6.7 cm
    Weight: 200.7 g
    Object size: 4.5 x 3.8 cm, miniature
  • Maker's mark: Part of a crowned Fleur de Lys, 'J', a five pointed star below which is a third letter possibly 'B', and an illegible letter, for J-F Breton
    Warden's mark: 'G' for 1770-1
    Charge mark: For fermier Julien Alaterre (1768-75)
    Discharge mark: A head with a helmet, for fermier Julien Alaterre (1768-75)
    Inscription: 'Ninon de Lenclos Painted by Henry Bone A.R.A., Enamel painter to His R.H. the Prince of Wales Feby. 1807'
    Date mark: Illegible
    Warranty mark: A head of an eagle, for 1838 or later Struck twice
    Inscription: '66'
  • G51
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The miniature of Ninon de Lenclos (1620-1705), a French author and courtesan, is signed and dated by Bone. In the early nineteenth century, portraits in the manner of Petitot were highly desirable and a painting by Bone in this style would have been considered an enhancement to a box in preference to the anonymous eighteenth-century miniature with which it would originally have been decorated.
    The box is in the neo-classical style that was becoming fashionable in France at the date it was made, and the associated love for hardstones is reflected in the decoration. The gold has been enamelled with ten oval reserves imitating granite, with two circular roundels enamelled in imitation of lapis lazuli on the cover. The base is similarly enamelled but with a central medallion chased with three amorini making music. The walls of the box are decorated with four pilasters chased with putti, and four busts of Roman emperors.