The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Circular box (bonbonnière)
  • Circular box (bonbonnière)
  • Jean-Joseph Barrière (active between: 1763 - 1793) , Goldsmith
  • Jean-Joseph Barrière (active between: 1763 - 1793), Goldsmith
  • France, Paris
  • 1781-82
  • Gold and enamel
  • Height: 2 cm
    Diameter: 6 cm
  • Maker's mark: for J.J. Barriere
    Mark: 'I O / A'
    Warden's mark: Crowned 'S', for 1781-2
    Mark: Mark with '3'
    Charge mark: for Henry Clavel (1780-1782)
    Mark: Illegible
    Warranty mark: Two heads of eagles
  • G82
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Boxes without hinges are today frequently referred to as bonbonnières, normally circular boxes used to contain sweetmeats to freshen the breath. However, the term does not appear to have been used before about 1770 and before that the term ‘boïte à bonbons’ (sweet box) seems to have been used.
    The enamel decoration on the cover of this bonbonnière is reminiscent of some kind of botanical specimen, or of the style of gilding used at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory known as ‘vermiculé’ (literally ‘worm tunnels’). The enamels round the borders include an irridescent white in imitation of pearls and translucent green leaves, on a matted gold ground.
    The linings of the cover and base have Viennese marks, indicating they are nineteenth-century replacements.