One of my favorites in a long life of collecting, this is an 18th century portrait miniature snuff box with military officer. Finest tortoise shell box with pique in 18k, silver, abalone shell, and a facing plaque of 18k on the broad round mat create a fitting presentation for a rare French military officer. All my experience places him around French Revolution to perhaps c.1805, which moves him to Napoleonic Era. Perhaps one of you will be an expert in military uniforms and can help me pin it more closely. The box is fabulous. Frankly, it's tempting to display top overlaying the upended bottom of the box so you can fully enjoy the intricate brilliant pique work. Full measurements noted on photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout, really. It's rare to find one in as fine condition, no breaks to the thin inner rim of tortoise shell. The entire box is tortoise shell and has no chips, no breaks, no cracks or hairlines. I find a single very small bug bite (see photos), and a very few pique inlays missing but not much. I have not removed this painting so all photos are showing a photo light glare somewhere and there is slight distortion to the portrait because of the convex glass. The painting is fine, flat, undamaged. My experience would suggest to me that this is a replacement cover glass. Most wouldn't know, but I think it's too convex for the era, and also at an angle here or there you can see the very outer rim roughness to the cut and an early original one would be polished completely smooth. Together - it is magnificent!
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.