Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin
Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin

Antique 18th Century French Snuff Box or Patch Box, Bonboniere in 18k Tortoise Shell and Vern's Martin

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The gold bands on this 18th century snuff or patch or bonboniere box acid tests at 18k gold, and the manner of outside decoration is called Vernis Martin, after the Martin Brothers who created it. Layered paint and varnish, the box would have been a beautiful shade of dark pink in its beginning, though some of that finish has been lost to the centuries. You see it best on the lid. I've owned a lot of these little gems/boxes over time. I would bet that it originally held a hand painted portrait miniature there in that oval 18k gold frame mount on the lid. But now it presents in this condition, with that little hand painted monogram with flowers inside, under the slightly convex cover glass. I'd bet someone tried too hard to clean it at some point, damaging the portrait miniature, disrupting the Vernis Martin. Still, it remains a little beauty, doesn't it. Petit at 2.5" diameter, full measurements noted on the photos.

Very good for age and type, there are no chips, bites or cracks in that tortoise shell box, which is rare. The 18k gold bands are generous and there are 4 in all, enhancing the current value. The small convex cover glass is undamaged, as well. Might one redecorate the exterior, or put a tiny 18th century work of portraitist's artwork in the oval cartouche? Certainly. Fine quality, c.1740-70s.

IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world. 

Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.