The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Jean Frémin (active between: 1738-1786) , Goldsmith
  • Le Sueur (active between: 1750 -1761), Enameller, (pastoral scenes)
  • Paris, France
  • 1750 - 1751
  • Gold and enamel
  • Object size: 3.5 x 7 x 5.1 cm
    Weight: 156.9 g
  • Maker's mark: Mark of Jean Fremin, goldsmith registered in Paris, 24 September 1738 until 1786.
    Warden's mark: 'K' of the Maison Commune, mark for gold, Paris 15 July1750 - 22 January 1752
    Charge mark: A head of an ox, for the sous-fermier Julien Berthe, Paris 1 October 1750 - 1 October 1756
    Countermark: A leaf, for the fermiers Eloy Brichard and Etienne Somfoye, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1762.
    Signature: 'LE. Sueur' signed on the cover
    Small guarantee mark: Two punches of eagle's heads in profile,restricted warranty mark (petite garantie) for gold, Pairs, 1 January 1847 onwards. Struck twice
  • G14
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This rectangular gold has been enamelled en plein (enamel applied directly onto the gold) with six pastoral scenes, or reserves bordered by translucent blue strapwork intertwined with translucent green foliage and opaque enamel flowers. The ground is chased with a diaper (diamond) pattern.

    The scene on the cover of a shepherd seated on a bridge playing bagpipes to a girl with a small dog on a leash. The source for this subject is now thought to be a design by Mongenor, after Francois Boucher’s Musique Pastorale. Though there are many designs signed or inscribed with his name, his identity is still unknown.

    This box is a rare example of an enameller signing his name into the decoration. We can see ‘LE Seuer’ on the arch of the bridge on the cover. He too has yet to be positively identified. Enamels signed ‘Le Suer’ are often found on boxes dated between 1750 and 1761, from the workshops of Jean Frémin and Jean Ducrollay.

    Snuffboxes played an important role in fashion and self-promotion, in diplomacy and, in the 19th century, in collecting. Often they were used as a currency for their monetary values and the status they could embody. Their practical purpose was often secondary – they were highly valued as art objects in their own right. Gold boxes were a barometer of the taste of the time and exemplify the skills of not only goldsmiths, but also enamellers, lapidaries and miniature painters.