c1760 French Chinoiserie Silver & Mother of Pearl Snuff Box


A rare and attractive c1760 French Chinoiserie Snuff Box, decorated with silver applied motifs on Mother of Pearl panels.
The rectangular wooden box is lined on the inside with gilded silver decorated in an oriental style wavy pattern. The outside of the box has been clad with very thin panels of very fine mother of pearl on which the silversmith has superimposed silver flowers, foliage and butterflies, with the top panel being decorated with a seated pseudo Chinese lady in a garden tableau. Opening the hinged lid reveals a silver mark on the inside lip. This is in the form of a scallop shell and is the Paris mark for the period 1756 – 1762. The condition of the box is good, but there is a thin crack on the top panel and a couple of corers are chipped. However, this does not detract from the beauty and desirability of the piece.
Chinoiserie is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music. It first appeared in the 17th century but became very popular in the 18th century due to the rise in trade with Qing dynasty China.
Size: 6 x 4.5 x 3.5 cm (2 3/8 x 1 ¾ x 1 3/8 inches)
Weight: 61 g