Saturday, 7 March 2015

A snuffbox with secrets....

From the Wallace Collection: a beautiful  gold and cornelian snuffbox dating from about 1775, probably made by the Dresden goldsmith Johann Christian Neuber (1736 - 1808).  The box contains fine concealed portraits of Voltaire and Madame du Châtelet attributed in a 1865 catalogue to "Drouais".  The box first appeared for sale in Paris in 1863  and was acquired by Sir Richard Wallace in 1872.  Apparently, although the portraits were mentioned in the sale catalogues, no-one could find them until fairly recently when one of the Wallace curators pressed a button and out they popped!


Charles Truman, "Gold boxes at the Wallace Collection"

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