Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Snuffbox

Date:
1738–44
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Gold, mother-of-pearl
Dimensions:
Overall: 2 1/2 × 1 13/16 × 1 1/4 in. (6.4 × 4.6 × 3.2 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
The Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection, Bequest of Emma A. Sheafer, 1973
Accession Number:
1974.356.657
Not on view
The use of snuff became very fashionable in Europe during the eighteenth century. The affluent snuff-taker owned numerous boxes in which to store a small amount of the finely ground and often scented tobacco. The box was to fit comfortably in one’s hand. These luxury accessories always had a hinged lid and frequently also airtight bezels or lips so that the snuff stayed fresh.
Marking: [1] crowned fleur-de-lis, two grains de remède, rest indecipherable (maker's mark)
[2] foot (Paris charge mark for gold and small silver, 1738–44)
[3] crowned indecipherable letter (Paris warden's mark)
[4] fox head (Paris discharge mark for gold and small silver, 1738–44)

Location of marks:
[1]–[3] inside cover, bottom, front wall, front edge of bezel
[4] on bezel and at one end
Lesley and Emma Sheafer , New York (until 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
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