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
  • 1809-1819
  • Gold, gouache on vellum, painted, chased and engraved
  • Object size: 3.2 x 8.6 x 4.2 cm
    Weight: 161.9 g
  • Maker's mark: 'A.V.'
    Discharge mark: For Henri Clavel (1781-89)
    Hallmark: For 1782-3
    Incised mark: 'Vachette à Paris' and '20K.5' Engraved
    Guarantee mark: Pan's 840
    Mark: A boy's head with '2'
    Mark: Petit recence of Paris 1819
    Small guarantee mark: For 1809
  • G64
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This box is mounted with an assemblage of gouache fragments by two different hands. Those on the top and bottom and in the centre of the long sides are attributed to the van Blarenberghes and show characters from the Italian Commedia dell' Arte, or various figural scenes. They do not make a homogeneous group, however, and the miniatures of ruins or landscapes which flank the van Blarenberghe miniatures further confuse the arrangement. These are paintings ‘fixés sous verre’, a technique which involves painting in watercolour mixed with an adhesive such as gum or oil, painted onto the vellum before the paint is dry, thus applying the paint directly to the glass surface.
    The box is signed ‘Vachette à Paris’. Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette was the pupil of another great gold box maker, Pierre-François Drais (the Wallace Collection has three boxes by Drais, G47, G53 and G62) and although his early work resembles that of his master, he later used an inventive array of materials to decorate his boxes, including hardstones, Oriental and European lacquer, micro-mosaics and Roman glass, as well as miniatures as on this box.