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Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s
Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s

Antique Chocolate and Cognac Tortoise Shell Snuff Box, Elaborate Pique Work, c.1770s

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From the time of ill-fated French King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette this elaborately pique-worked snuff box survives in remarkably fine condition. Semi-opaque, rare mottled chocolate and cognac shell and inlays in gold, silver and abalone. Some smaller boxes made similarly have covered compartments within and are smaller, and are 'boîte a mouche', or the small boxes that little black cosmetic patches were kept in that era.This size would have been a table snuff box. It is 2 1/2" x just under 1" tall when closed. From an anonymous French collection and came along with a 3 others in tortoise shell, blond and mottled shell, also just listed (sold separately). You'll want them all, I'm sure. So rare to find these unless an estate collection comes up like these, all at once. Museum pieces, all.

Good to very good condition, no bug bites. No loss to elaborate inlay pique work. I have not tested the pique inlays, but typically it is karat gold and sterling silver in these. Beautifully crafted, the dots and elegantly worked 2-band edging are fully intact, and the entire cartouche bouquet is complete without any lifts or losses. The bottom half, however, has rim chips and the round bottom has been dislodged at some point and re-set, slightly off kilter, as you can see from our photos. Closed and in display, however, it is lovely. No loss to pique work, which shows typical c.1750s artistry. Such a pretty old thing, c.1750s, give or take a decade. 

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.