While the little painting atop this beautifully preserved lathe-turned burl wood table snuff box is of an 18th century sitting room, a couple and their maid and dog, the box is actually a century later, late Victorian era, or Napoleon III end of era, c.1870-1900. This would be a tourist trade souvenir, and yes, it is entirely hand painted in gouache on thin wafer. It's eye-deceiving to have it fill your screen, really - the entire interior painting is only 2 5/8" in diameter and those faces are even less than 1/4" - they're 3/16" from chin to hairline. Smallest of any of my collection. Remarkable to imagine some artist painting such an intricate scene in such a tiny space. That is, of course, the appeal of this one. Large enough to have possibly been a powder box, and without the typical shell lining, that might have been its initial intent.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. Very well treasured, the painting suffers no flaw protected beneath the old original convex cover glass.The precision lathe-turned burled wood table snuff box is beautiful from all angles. I gave it a dusting and a very light wood wax just before photos, and the slight dullness of age, having been fed a little, came up so beautiful and rich. I can see only one tiny spot of flaw, and that is a slight split to the wooden outer rim, top of box. Look very closely to see the tiny lines I mean. The worst spot is at about the 5 o'clock position. Brass mount has some tarnish I did not polish, not wishing to take any chance of causing more hairlines. Glass is clean and painting, while unsigned, is superb. Full measurements noted on the photos.