The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Paris, France
  • c. 1775
  • Gold, paper maché and lacquer, painted and engraved
  • Diameter: 8.6 cm
    Height: 4.8 cm
    Weight: 99.1 g
  • G10
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Of similar construction to G18, this bonbonnière would have been affordable to a wider audience than the gold snuffboxes on display here. An advertisement by the marchand mercier (dealer) Charles-Raymond Granchez who ran the shop ‘Le Petit Dunkerque’ , appeared in a Parisian newspaper of 1772 and mentioned ‘snuffboxes in card lined with turtleshell’, which would appear to have been similar to this box.
    The top and bottom are painted with fair scenes after engravings by Moreau le jeune (1741-1814) created to illustrate a song book (Choix de Chansons) by Benjamin De La Borde, a Valet of the King’s Bedchamber, which was published in 1773 and dedicated to the dauphine, Marie Antoinette. The scene on the top represents the anonymous La foire de Gonésse where the mountebank is peddling medicines and elixirs, and on the bottom Le départ de Lucile.
    The apparent absence of hallmarks on this box may suggest that the mounts are later than they might seem, as it is very rare indeed to find goldsmiths’ work without any kind of hallmark produced in Paris in the eighteenth century. However, the mounts here are minimal and may have been marked in an area which is no longer visible.