The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Adrien-Jean Maximilien Vachette (1753 - 1839) , Goldsmith
  • Paris, France
  • 1779 - 1780
  • Gold and lacquer, chased
  • Object size: 2.6 x 8.6 x 5.4 cm
    Weight: 87.2 g
  • Maker's mark: 'A V' Stamped
    Warden's mark: 'Q' of the Maison Commune 1779-80
    Discharge mark: a monkey's head for Jean-Baptiste Fouache (1775-81)
    Mark: For sous-fermier Jean-Baptiste Fouache (1775-81)
    Inscription: 'Vachette, Bijoutier à Paris' Engraved
  • G60
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • In the eighteenth century, screens of seventeenth-century Japanese lacquer were often cut up and mounted on furniture such as secretaires, cabinets and chests-of-drawers. The small remaining off-cuts were considered precious enough to be sold for setting in goldsmiths’ work. This box is unusually engraved with the goldsmith’s signature and a date; Vachette only became a master goldsmith in 1779, so this is one of his earliest works. He went on to become a specialist in mounting valuable objects such as lacquer, turtleshell, micro-mosaics, miniatures and hard stones in gold snuff boxes and the unusual and inventive form of this box, perfectly complementing the fan shape of the lacquer decoration, is typical of his work.
    Vachette’s career spanned both the last decades of Louis XVI’s rule and the years after the French Revolution. He was associated with jewellers who supplied Napoleon I, Louis XVIII and Charles X.