The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany, Hanau, probably
  • c. 1765-75
  • Gold and enamel, chased
  • Object size: 3.8 x 9.2 x 5.1 cm
    Weight: 161.5 g
  • Mark: No. 62
    Maker's mark: Crowned 'M&P' flanked by branches
    Marks: 4 Illegible, identical marks
  • G85
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The maker’s mark, M&P beneath a crown, presumably combines the initials of the goldsmiths responsible for making this box, which has traditionally been ascribed to Geneva. However, more recently this mark and other similar ones (found on the boxes displayed on this shelf) have been identified as being marks of goldsmiths in Hanau, a German city where the majority of goldsmiths were of French Huguenot origin. These goldsmiths used marks roughly imitating those of Parisian goldsmiths and used unofficial standard marks to heighten the illusion. The great number of boxes that survive with marks of this type suggests a fairly large-scale production by a number of workshops working in one city.
    On this box the rather confused ornament and naïve enamel paintings further suggest a centre of production which was aware of Parisian taste but was unable to match that city’s skill in either design or goldsmiths’ work.