The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Pierre François Mathias de Beaulieu (active between: 1768-99) , Goldsmith
  • Paris, France
  • 1768 - 1769
  • Gold and enamel, engraved and chased
  • Object size: 3.5 x 6.7 x 5.1 cm
    Weight: 145 g
  • Maker's mark: 'M' Defaced, M is only visible on right
    Maker's mark: 'M' / 'B' Partly defaced, of Parisian type
    Maker's mark: 'P M / B' and five pointed star
    Warden's mark: 'E' of the Maison Commune for 1768-9
    Charge mark: Obliterated Presumably been entirely obliterated during the working of the metal
    Charge mark: A bowl of flowers, of adjudiataire général des fermes générales unies Julien Alaterre (1768-75) Fermes générales unies, Julien Alaterre (1768-75);
    Discharge mark: Man's slipper, for the tax official Jean-Baptiste Fouache (1775-81)
    Small guarantee mark: Eagle's head in profile seen from its right, for 1837 - 1847 Eagle struck upside down
    Stamp: '511' Presumably a production number or stock number.
    Inscription: 'Ve George Beaulieu a Paris' Engraved
  • G5
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • A varicoloured gold snuffbox with six enamelled plaques depicting, on the cover, a lady playing a lyre with a putto playing a recorder and, on the base, a lady at her toilette accompanied by a maid. The blue and gold-flecked background is in imitation of lapis lazuli, which was a decorative technique used on snuffboxes at least as early as 1761 and which was representative of the increasing interest of the Neoclassical taste in Antique hardstones.
    The scenes on the plaques around the side of the box are probably derived from engravings after François Boucher, such as those published by Pierre Aveline in 1738, those by Jean Daullé in 1748 and of Louis-Felix de La Rue in the mid-1740s. However, the putti lack the softness of Boucher and may be compositions of the anonymous enameller.