Louis XVI Gold Snuff Box
Louis XVI Gold Snuff Box Louis XVI Gold Snuff Box Louis XVI Gold Snuff Box Louis XVI Gold Snuff Box
Louis XVI Gold Snuff Box

Louis XVI Gold Snuff Box

  • This luxurious Louis XVI-period gold snuff box was once owned and gifted by King Louis XVI
  • Crafted by the celebrated Melchior-René Barré, the rare box displays remarkable artistry
  • The Neoclassical design is accentuated by garlands of shimmering gold
  • Today, snuff boxes such as this are highly coveted for their extraordinary craftsmanship
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Item No. 30-6573
Price: Available upon request
Garlands of shimmering gold accentuate this remarkably rare Louis XVI-period gold snuff-box, which was once owned and gifted by Louis XVI, King of France. A work of superior French artistry by the renowned Melchior-René Barré, the round vessel is intricately engraved on all sides and features a charming Neoclassical floral medallion at its center. Barré is among the best highly regarded makers of these exquisite objets d'art, and examples of his work can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) and the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), among other collections. The present piece is exemplary of the highly detailed chased and engraved ornamentation for which he is known.

Diminutive works of intricate artistry, snuff boxes such as this were once considered the height of fashionable luxury in the 18th- and 19th-centuries. Designed to be small enough to fit in a gentleman’s waistcoat, these ornamented boxes were used to hold snuff, a popular scented tobacco. The most elegant were made using the finest materials, including gold, porcelain, tortoiseshell, enamels, mother-of-pearl, and precious gems. Symbols of status, they were counted among the most expensive and elegant personal effects, and soon became collector's items.

The interior of the lid bears the engraving, "Once the property of Louis 16th, King of France, and Presented by him To a sincere Friend".

Marked with the charge and discharge marks of Jean-Baptiste Fouache

Paris, 1776-1777

3/4" high x 2 1/4" diameter
Period: 18th Century
Type:Snuff/Tobacco Boxes
Depth:2.25 Inches
Diameter:2.25 Inches
Width:2.25 Inches
Height:0.75 Inches
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