Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gifts of Grandeur: A Chased Gold and Bloodstone Snuff Box, 1740

Snuff Box
French, 1740
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here, we see a pannier-shaped gold snuffbox which is really very fantastic. It is chased with birds, flowers, animals, shells, fruiting vines and baskets of grapes and other fruit and surmounted by a carved bloodstone. As a nifty little surprise, the interior of the lid is embellished with a polychrome miniature of a Bacchanalian festival. The miniature shows Bacchus, god of wine, surrounded by putti picking and eating an abundance of grapes. The pannier-shape of the box mimics the containers used to hold the grapes at the harvest.

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