I am not completely positive of it, but all indications are that these 2 young women are from the politically-guided young and wealthy Royalists who chose frivolous fashion and exaggerated Neoclassicism (for the women, primarily) to parade their protest of the heads lost to the guillotine, The Terror of the French Revolution. The dates for that movement: c.1795-99. These 2 young women, possibly sisters, wear their hair in a throwback to classicism, and they wear little else. It was the habit of this group of Paris youth to have their portraits done, almost always framed in 18k gold, mounted as lockets or on snuff boxes like this one, the face plate of the mount being a thin plaque of 18k (not gold plated, but a gold plaque mounted to the frame which holds the portrait and its convex cover glass together to be inset into the snuff box lid. Beautiful old box in finest tortoise shell, typical of the era - 225 or so years back. Full measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent for age and type, I can see one chip or bug bite to the outer rim of the lid, just about where the 2 girls' gaze lands. It's visible more from side than from the top looking on. One other flaw to the tortoise shell seems to be bug bite making a roughness along edge - also not really visible in display. The 18k gold plaque made to attach to the very thin back-mount is sort-of folded over on the outer edges. I'm unsure if that was something done later (it's thin) or if that is original to it. Just a mention. This one was so full of dust, inside and out, that I was actually surprised by how beautiful the little painting is. It could hardly be seen. Carefully removed from mount and cleaned, reset, the cover glass and painting are each just perfect. Those faces are 3/4" from chin to hairline, and the box is 3 1/8" diameter, 7/8" tall when closed. Rare double portrait!
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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