As I've explained, there are basically 2 types of portrait miniatures: 1. one of a kind paintings in miniature of living persons, and 2. souvenir paintings "aprés" (painted after) works of art Grand Tour tourists would have seen and loved in the museums and exhibitions of Paris. This c.1850-70s Napoleon III era large box is of the 2nd type. A charming one, as these go, the roundels are hand painted miniatures after the c.1705-70s works by Vigee LeBrun, favorite portraitist of Marie-Antoinette, and you see Vigee's self portrait to left and a miniature from another of her large paintings of Marie-Antoinette framed right. Each is a painting, not a print. They're on thin natural wafer, preserved under convex cover glass and mounted on this box. The box is tortoise shell, and incorporates a c.1750s French gaming chip (navette-shaped) in front for decoration. Perhaps it had ties to Versailles or to Marie-Antoinette, as it is her era. The additional diamonds of mother of pearl repeat the shimmering accent.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. I did pry out the discs to photograph, since there's something to these beautifully crafted paintings that one might think to be a print rather than an artist's work. They're so beautifully done. Some of the finest of the souvenir miniatures, really. The box is nearly 6" long, and tortoise shell as you can see. Framework in cast brass, with a hinge and clasp which are both working perfectly and fully intact. It's been a treasure for many generations. It's entirely possible it's earlier than I think. I have never actually found another quite like it. No chips, no cracks, no damage to report. Measurements noted on photos. Quite large for a snuff box, and I think it more likely a jewelry box or bonbon. One could certainly carry it as a clutch purse for a special evening.
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.
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