Saturday, January 5, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: The Delisle Snuffbox, 1743-44

France, 1743-44
This and all related images from
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Another snuffbox from the collection of Sir Arthur and Rosalinde Gilbert, this Eighteenth Century snuffbox was made in France at the apex of the fashionable snuff craze. The box features panels of mother-of-pearl which are carved with a scene of a couple in court dress. They are surrounded by cherubs, which, frankly, I would think a little unnerving. 

The mother-of-pearl panels are reverse painted with landscapes which are now substantially faded and worn. Imagine how vivid they must have looked in 1743 when the box was new. The gold mounts have been decorated with a wave pattern. 

This box is the work of Jacques-André Delisle who joined the goldsmith's guild by letters patent in July of 1718, sponsored by the gold-box maker Pierre de Roussy.

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