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Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver
Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver

Antique French 18th Century Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Vernis Martin, Shell and Silver

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Another of my Vernis Martin French snuff boxes, entirely hand decorated in the layered paint and varnish most popular in the era of Marie-Antoinette and French King Louis XVI. The snuff box is trimmed in elegantly worked silver rather than the more typical gold. The interior is lined with exquisitely well-preserved thin tortoise shell, not a single nip or rim chip or flaw to it. Mounted on top in an oval silver frame with original convex cover glass, is a portrait of a nobleman. I lightly pried to try to take the mount from the snuff in order to see if ID might be within, and to clean the interior of the cover glass, but it's quite tight and I let it be, not wanting to take a chance on cracking the glass or painting. As you can see, there is a little dust on that inner glass which lightly clouds particularly the outer rim of the portrait, has a couple of lines that project to his face which should come clean if one wishes to try harder than I did. Full measurements noted on the photos.

Very good to excellent condition for age and type, remarkably complete as to the Vernis Martin box and its interior, painting and cover glass. While it retains plenty of the silver bands to seem complete, a very close inspection will show that one at center has gone missing over the centuries. VERY nice snuff box, indeed. I did not do much silver cleaning, and one might wish to take a q-tip and silver polish to it with slightly more of an aggressive hand to make it shine as fine old silver does. Date approximately c.1770s.

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.