French circa 1780

A Beautiful Three Colour Gold Oval Snuff Box

An 18ct century French gold snuff box c.1780-82, probably made in Paris. The oval box is made in a soft rosy coloured yellow gold with deeper rose gold and richer yellow gold details. It is highly decoratively chased and the top has a vertical oval cartouche centred with an urn filled with a floral and foliate arrangement with ribbon bows tied to the handles and with surrounding scroll motifs. A scroll and foliate border encircles the lid, sides and base all set against a ground of horizontal lines with a circular and zig zag repeated motif. The hinged lid opens to reveal a plain polished interior with the maker’s initials JCB on the lid, base and side as well as the charge and discharge marks of Henri Clavel (1780-82). Snuff is powdered tobacco which is sniffed up the nose and the use of it became increasingly popular in Europe during the 17th century. By the 18th century it was being enjoyed by nobility, aristocracy and monarchy and used by men and women alike. This popular habit spawned the need for practical little boxes in which to keep the snuff clean and dry which in turn led to the elevation of this necessity and the creation of beautiful, decorative and often bespoke boxes in the finest of materials. The snuff box became a popular accessory and one of the most attractive and decorative personal items carried by a gentleman. Today they are highly collectable and this pretty box would make a lovely addition to an existing collection or perhaps be the start of a new one!

Further Details

Condition ReportVery fine
Setting18ct gold with maker's mark JCB, charge and discharge marks of Henri Clavel (1780-82)
Weight description76 grams
Dimensions5cm / 2" deep, 7cm / 2.7" wide, 2.2cm / 0.8" tall

Directors Notes

Contet for Directors notes

Literature & Exhibitions

Previously belonging to the late Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Patricia Knatchbull née Mountbatten.


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SKU: 125549 Categories: , ,