The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Louis Roucel (+1787) , Goldsmith
  • Paris, France
  • 1766 - 1768
  • Gold and enamel, chased
  • Object size: 3.5 x 8 x 4.5 cm
    Weight: 158.3 g
  • Maker's mark: 'L.R.'
    Warden's mark: Crowned 'C' for 1766-7
    Warden's mark: Crowned 'D' for 1767-8
    Discharge mark: Perhaps a dog's head, for fermier Jean-Jaques Prévost (1762-68)
    Charge mark: A laurel branch, for fermier Jean-Jacques Prévost (1762-68)
    Mark: A writing horn, for fermier Julien Alaterre (1768-75) counter mark
  • G56
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The six scenes of cherubs in the manner of François Boucher (1703-1770) are set within gold frames bordered with a contrasting engine-turned gold ground covered in green basse taille (translucent) enamel. It is highly likely that the panels are later additions to the box, but it is not possible to determine their precise origin.
    The octagonal plaque on the cover is painted after B. Lepicié’s engraving of 1742 after Boucher’s ‘L’amour oiseleur’ and that on the base derives from ‘L’amour moissonneur’ from the same series. The panel on the front is after Pierre Aveline’s engraving after Boucher’s ‘Le retour de chasse’ from the series ‘Jeux d’Enfants’, which was advertised in the Mercure de France in April 1738. The figures on the left- and right-hand sides of the box may be taken from the same engraving.
    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. Although they were used for snuff-taking, 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.