The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • After Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725 - 1805), (miniature)
  • Germany, Hanau, probably
  • c.1770-75
  • Gold and enamel, chased and engraved
  • Object size: 3.9 x 8.2 x 6.4 cm
    Weight: 160.8 g
  • Mark: Tete d'epervier
    Mark: Obliterated
    Mark: For Jean-Jaques Prévost (1762-1768), imitation
  • G84
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This oval snuff box bears the remains of the mark for the Hanau goldsmiths, Les Frères Toussaint (active 1762-c.1814). The brothers Charles and Pierre moved to Hanau from Berlin in 1752 and were renowned as suppliers of gold boxes. From 1773 they subcontracted the engine turning of the boxes to Etienne Flamant, formerly working in Geneva, and undertook to provide him with 160 boxes a year. This clearly reveals a large and productive workshop.
    As with other boxes from Hanau, the marks reveal a clear knowledge of Parisian marks, which were imitated in the German city.
    The subject of the enamel on the lid is taken from a painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), ‘The Village Wedding’, which was shown at the Paris Salon of 1761. The painting was in the possession of the marquis de Marigny when it was engraved by Jean-Jacques Flipart in March 1770 and published by Greuze. The painting remained with Marigny until his posthumous sale in 1782, when it was bought by Louis XV. The subject would have been particularly popular in Protestant Hanau since the image represents the registration of a civil marriage contract before a notary, rather than a religious marriage before a priest.