French control marks: c.1777, and silversmith identified: Pierre Bocher, Paris.
To put this exceptional find in its time, France recognized and formed alliance with the newly established US of America in the year it was created, and Lafayette brought French troops to the new USA to fight side by side with us against the British. In France, King Louis XVI reigned, and by August of that year, France was declared bankrupt. Also, the Marquis de Sade was arrested (finally!). And in that year, a silversmith named Pierre Bocher, created this heavy sterling silver snuff box. The marks within tell us who he was and that the box was made in 1777, of finest .950/1000 pure French Sterling silver. RARE because most silver and many other metals from this era were subsequently melted down to finance the Napoleonic era and wars, and few items from that era remain today. I must tell you, when I bought it, someone had set an unmounted cameo from the Napoleon III to early 1900s into that oval where would have been a c.1777 portrait instead, like the one I have inserted in place of the one gone missing. A perfect fit, both in size and in time, I do not know who this c.1770s gentleman is, but it is a marriage made in its time. The miniature remains in its original frame under the original slightly convex cover glass, and had I not told you they did not arrive together, you would never have known. He is a man of the era, but we do not know his identification. Together, taken back to its time and era, this is a magnificent snuff box, worthy of a museum collection.
Very good to excellent condition, as noted above. Consistent with the verifiable c.1777 date, the portrait miniature is a perfect fit, but I purchased it separately from the snuff box. Both rare, they complete one another. Measurements are noted on the photos. There are no bends, losses to the handcrafted silver snuff, and the painting shows small signs of its advanced age, but not much. Weight for silver only is 115gr, but of course it is historic and not to ve valued for melt - it already made it through its big threat of that with Napoleon.
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