Fine craftsmanship on this rare c.1750s snuff box, dark opaque chocolate brown tortoise shell with exquisite border pique in 18k gold. Some of the finest work, and so well preserved for these 270 or so years. Lathe-crafted and carved rare tortoise shell is incised in a repetitive circular patter overall, enhanced by the mall open circles that overlay the general circular incision work. Very interesting old one. The entire top and bottom border is painstakingly marked and cut and inlaid with an elaborate goldsmith's work of tiny 18k ornament, and hardly a one gone missing. This one has been treasured but some bugs have found it. From the Louis XV to Louis XVI reigns, France. Petit, to be tucked into a vest pocket, it's possible it was a patch box rather than a snuff, in this size range. You know - the little black dots people stuck to their faces to cover lesions, or to mimic beauty marks in an era when doing so was fashionable at Court. One can only guess at its history, but we do know its heritage puts it in museum quality timeframe and condition.
Very good to good condition, some bug bites for its long life. We've tried to point out with an 'x', but our images are enlarged enough, you will be able to really evaluate this exceptional work, this treasure. Very rare to find, I am disbursing my own collections now, decades in the making. You would see similar on display in the Louvre's decorative arts museum, and a larger display in the British Museum, London. Just like this. Don't miss this one. Priced for its condition.
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.