c1830 France King Louis Philippe I Tortoiseshell Snuff Box


A beautiful c1830 French circular Snuff Box, made out of tortoiseshell, with a gilt bronze medal, under glass, of King Louis Philippe I.

The medal is by the renowned medallist Jean Louis Thevenon, of Paris, who portrayed many notable people during the Revolution and Napoleonic period. King Louis Philippe is wearing a Marshal’s uniform, which makes it very unusual. The medallist, Thevenon, generally represents the King in Roman form (naked head and neck). The medal is imbedded in the lid of the box, with a protective domed glass lens. The bright gold shows some age toning around the edges. The text reads: ‘LOUIS PHILIPPE PREMIER – ROI DES FRANCAIS – ELU LE 7 AOUT 1830’. In very small script underneath the epaulettes is: THENEVON.

Louis Philippe I (1773 – 1850) was King of the French (a constitutional change from ‘King of France’, which reflected the need to care for his subjects and not the nation), from 1830 to 1848. As a member of the cadet branch of the Royal House of France and a cousin of King Louis XVI of France, by reason of his descent from their common ancestors Louis XIII and Louis XIV, he had earlier found it necessary to flee France during the period of the French Revolution in order to avoid imprisonment and execution, a fate that actually befell his father Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans. He spent 21 years in exile after he left France in 1793. He was proclaimed king in 1830 after his cousin Charles X was forced to abdicate in the wake of the events of the July Revolution of that year. His government, known as the July Monarchy, was dominated by members of a wealthy French elite and numerous former Napoleonic officials. He followed conservative policies, especially under the influence of the French statesman François Guizot during the period 1840–48. He also promoted friendship with Britain and sponsored colonial expansion, notably the conquest of Algeria. His popularity faded as economic conditions in France deteriorated in 1847, and he was forced to abdicate after the outbreak of the French Revolution of 1848. He lived out his life in exile in Great Britain.

Size box: 8 x 2.2 cm (3 1/8 x 7/8 inches)
Weight: 80 g