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Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815
Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815

Stunning Antique French Portrait Miniature Snuff Box, Red Coral Tiara, Young Beauty, French Empire c.1815

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Her artist has signed the portrait, and she is a stunning beauty - those big soulful eyes. A young woman protected by her red coral Empire tiara, perhaps this was a portrait set to a beautifully crafted burl snuff box for her husband to be, upon engagement. Or, in fact, she might be the young mistress of a c.1815 gentleman who wanted her image to treasure. She wears the very typical low bodice Empire-waisted gown, the long chain of gold wrapped a few times around her slender elegant neck, and the tiara of highest French fashion of her time. Red coral was thought to have properties of protection for young and virginal girls - something about it being the solidified blood from the beheading of Medusa. Folk lore, but you see many young women, girls with their red coral jewelry. The box is immaculate, inside and out. Obviously a cherished and unused snuff box, not a nip to the shell lined interior, either. The painting is likely mounted in a karat gold mat there. I did not test it, not wanting to leave a scrape, or to remove her from her box in order to be accessible for dip testing. One would expect it is 18k and it definitely looks like it. A fine quality piece, this. I'm afraid I can't adequately name the artist's signature, but I've enlarged it enough that perhaps you can. I don't want to give wrong information. But the work is dated by that artist (perhaps "Vuilliere"), look for yourself to determine. Dated, and I can read that: 23 June 1815. 

Excellent condition throughout. I really find no damage to note. The painting is in gouache on thin natural wafer, typical of the genre and time. Her skin is just translucent with youth and she's a true beauty. The artist has frozen her in time, this 200+ year old young woman in her time. Measurements are noted on the photos. She is a personal favorite from my collections.