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Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870
Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870
Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870
Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870
Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870
Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870
Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870

Antique French Portrait Miniature Frame of 12k Gold, on Snuff Box, c. 1870

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The 19th century excellence of top ebenistes (cabinet makers) of France was on display in the very popular and fairly vase array of decorative boxes. Likewise, small boxes for snuff, bonbons, patches, and more were popular objects collected in 1600-1800s, and are treasures today. I think the first antique I ever bought was a marquetry box when I was a Grad student in London, long ago. And we used to deal heavily in these stunning fine old 19th century boxes, too, before branching into so many other avenues of the fine arts and antiques we now present. It is with such pleasure I still approach old boxes when on buying trips; there is always the promise of some glorious fitted interior, loads of vanity items or layers of travel necessities or gaming chips. One never knows. And it is with equal pleasure we bring a special bunch of antique French boxes to our customers, all listing today and all sold separately. The final image will help you gauge scale. And if you don't see what you want in this bunch, use search box to find all the most superb antique boxes we already have listed.

From huge cashmere shawls or marriage chests, to the small watch box or snuff boxes. Fabulous to collect. I still do! This is an 1870s snuff box, done in the then brand new invention of Cellulose nitrate, a highly acclaimed and utilized mimic for tortoise shell and ivory and mother of pearl as they became difficult to supply in later 1800s. This one mimics blond tortoiseshell, to a greater or lesser effective result, arguably. The cover glass has perfectly protected the portrait miniature (on card) that is housed within. This type of portrait miniature would have been done as a Grand Tour tourist trade souvenir, and the subject shown here is a stylized image after a portrait of Marie-Antoinette by artist, Vigee LeBrun.

Very nice condition on the hand painted portrait. You can see the influences of the Impressionists on this particular painting, and the timing is right for that, as well. Very good to excellent condition for age and type. There are some hairlines or imperfections in the rather thick cellulose nitrate material. No losses to the painting, which is very slightly smaller than the outer 12k gold mat (see edges in upper half). Measures 3" diameter and 1 1/8" high.