Young Louis XVII, shown here as a little boy along with his father, French King Louis XVI, aunt, "Madame (or Miss) Elisabeth" and mother, Marie-Antoinette on this memento of the succession Royals, was 2nd son - his older brother having died a month or so before the beginning of the French Revolution. not long before the French Revolution. Born Louis-Charles on 27, March, 1785, he would have been barely 7 when he was imprisoned, then died at 10 in captivity on June 1795. Though he never actually ruled, he is still referred to as Louis XVII. This snuff box would have been made as commemorative of the ascension of this child to replace his dead brother as Dauphin (heir apparent to the thrown), so dates c.1789. It is a little curious, has an appearance of being an intaglio engraving which has then been painted over. I can see brush strokes. My guess is this might be one of a number made similarly to mark the new line of succession. One would consider it a remarkable treasure to have survived these 230 + years, particularly due to the rage at anything "Royal" throughout the coming 20 year period. Most such souvenirs would have been destroyed. Louis XVI was executed 21, January, 1793; Marie-Antoinette followed him at guillotine on 16, October, of the same year. Orphan Louis XVII, Dauphin, died in captivity less than 2 years later. Miss Elisabeth, shown also in the lineage, was sister to King Louis XVI, died in 1794, as well. Full measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, a museum piece for its historical significance and rarity. The table snuff box or large patch box is very well preserved throughout, obviously stowed away to safety throughout enormous political upheaval in France. Likely in hands of an exiled Royal, waiting out the French Republic, and hoping to return some day to France under Royalty. The box is perfectly preserved, no chips, no cracks, no damage to report. As noted, either a pencil sketch and painting, or perhaps began as an intaglio print which has been over-painted and border of stars also done by hand. Original convex cover glass and mount are in fine condition, well-mounted. Interior of opulent tortoise shell remains excellent, as well. Superb piece - found in France, "collection of a gentleman" it's only provenance when I found it.
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.