The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snuff box
  • Snuff box
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Paris, France
  • 1756 - 1757
  • Gold and enamel
  • Object size: 3.5 x 6.1 x 5.3 cm
    Weight: 114.3 g
  • Maker's mark: Includes 'A A' with 'C' or 'G' between them and a little below, mark probably of Ayme-Antoine Chollet, goldsmith registered in Paris, 14-17 January 1756 - 1791
    Warden's mark: 'Q' of the Maison Commune, mark for gold, Paris, 20 July 1756 - 15 July 1757.
    Charge mark: A harrow, for the fermier Eloy Brichard, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1759
    Discharge mark: A shell, for the fermier of Eloy Brichard and Etienne Somfoye, Paris, 1 October 1756 - 1 October 1762.
    Tax mark: The Austro-Hungarian tax mark for gold, Linz, 1807-06
  • G21
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Gold snuffbox in the form of a chaise percée (a covered chamber pot enclosed in a wooden chair) decorated with six reserves or images of flowers, tied with ribbon in opaque enamel, surrounded by matted gold and scrolls in translucent green enamel. The interior of the box is gold.
    The unusual form of this box, was once thought to represent a hip-bath or coal scuttle, but is now thought to be a chaise percée. There is another example of this form in a private collection in the USA, by Jean-Louis Désir, therefore this box is not unique. The decoration suggests that it could have been made for a woman.
    Snuffboxes played an important role in fashion and self-promotion, 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.