"La Bonne Maman" is the epithet there at bottom. "The Good Mother", by translation, and you see a lovely woman with 3 small children. While this one isn't a 17th century snuff box hand painted in the manner of Vernis Martin, Marie-Antoinette's favorite decorative style, it has that look and surely was intended to look that way when it was made. It's been an early to mid-1800s souvenir or certainly less costly snuff, and is both pretty and valuable as an antique just as you see it. I show you in my large detailed photos of this one, the papier macho or perhaps pulverized and reconstituted wood or horn is cast thin, and that the top art started as being an intaglio print which has been hand colored or hand painted and layered with some varnishes to try to mimic the old Vernis Martin. It does a quite convincing job at it, and is very pretty alongside 17th century Vernis Martin items in that final photo. Additionally, I have clicked a couple of images of the surface in found condition, dry and faded, and then again after cleaning and a light surface wax for protection. Quite a difference and makes it a collection highlight again. Interestingly, you also see fingerprint (on close inspection or in our greatly enlarged photos) of someone who did the initial art and finish on the box.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. This material is far more fragile than the usual wood and/or shell snuff boxes, would have been made for souvenir trade. Because it's an early one, around 150 or more years old at this time, it's quite impressive that it isn't more damaged. You will notice a chip on the rim, a bit of sign of age there, but each half is unbroken otherwise, shows and fits together beautifully. Measurements noted directly on our photos, but it is 3.5" in diameter, a table snuff size, and is 7/8" tall when closed for display.
Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.
Use left/right arrows to navigate the slideshow or swipe left/right if using a mobile device