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Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s
Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, c.1770s

Antique French Blond Tortoise Shell and Pique Work Snuff Box, Casket, 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 blond shell and inlays in gold and 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 3 3/8" x 3 1/2" and is 1" tall when closed. From an anonymous French collection and came along with a 2nd one in oval form, also being listed (sold separately) today. You'll want them both, I'm sure. So rare to find in such fine condition. 

Very good to excellent condition, no breaks and no bug bites. I have not tested the pique inlays, but typically it is karat gold and sterling silver in these. Same with the hinge. Beautifully crafted, the stars and dots and serpentine worked edging are fully intact, and almost the entire cartouche bouquet is, as we'll I can see 2 tiny leaves and 2 slim stems have lifted out (see images) but it does nothing to diminish either enjoyment or value since there are no breaks in the old tortoiseshell. Shimmer of color in the abalone inlay flower. Such a pretty old thing, c.1770s, 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.