The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Workshop of Les Freres Toussaint , possibly
  • Workshop of Les Freres Toussaint, possibly
  • Germany, Hanau
  • c.1780
  • Gold, enamel, gouache and vellum, painted
  • Height: 2.2 cm
    Diameter: 7.9 cm
    Weight: 176.3 g
  • Maker's mark: 'LF / T' possibly for Les Freres Toussaint
    Hallmark: 'K' for 1773-4, imitation
    Mark: For fermier Julien Alaterre (1768-74), imitation
    Guarantee mark: Post 1838
    Warranty mark: A head of a bird Twice
  • G83
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The château depicted on the cover of the box is the former royal medieval castle on the banks of the Loire, the Château d’Amboise. When the miniature was painted, the château was in the possession of the duc de Choiseul, whose own chateau at Chanteloup was only a short distance away; but there is no reason to suggest that Choiseul ever owned this box. It is more likely to have been commissioned by a German in Hanau, who may have acquired the miniature in France perhaps following a visit to the picturesque town of Amboise, or the miniature may have been exported to Hanau and thought to be suitable decoration for a box.
    Knowledge about the work of this company of goldsmiths in Hanau, Les Frères Toussaint, is a relatively recent discovery. A large and productive workshop, they were part of a thriving centre of gold box production in Hanau in the second half of the eighteenth century, where imitation French marks were used, presumably to pass the boxes off as French and to add a fashionable and desirable allure.