784
784
A gold snuff box, Joseph Lejeune, London, 1776
Estimate
1,5002,000
LOT SOLD. 2,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
784
A gold snuff box, Joseph Lejeune, London, 1776
Estimate
1,5002,000
LOT SOLD. 2,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

From Earth to Fire

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London

A gold snuff box, Joseph Lejeune, London, 1776
of elongated oval form, the lid and base engraved with musical trophies on a sunray ground further ornamented with wreaths of flowers within interlaced, acanthus and scalloped borders, the sides engraved with swags on a finely reeded ground, later paler gold rims, fully marked on the interior of the base
7.5cm., 3 in. wide
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Catalogue Note

The maker's mark on this box is that of a hitherto unconsidered London goldsmith called Joseph Lejeune of Lichfield Street, Soho, who entered his mark (ILI) at Goldsmiths' Hall on 5 February 1778. Arthur Grimwade (London Goldsmiths, 1697-1837, p. 305) thought that Lejeune might have been a watchcase maker, presumably because, in common with many in that category, his was an incuse mark rather than a cameo.

Mr. Grimwade (p. 304) had the same thought about another incuse mark (IL) entered by Joseph Lejeune from nearby Porter Street, Seven Dials on 9 June 1760. But in neither of these entries did he make a connection between them and a later goldsmith's cameo mark (IIL, pellets between) entered by John Joseph Le Jeune from 3 Stacey Street, Soho on 14 January 1784.

Stacey Street is a stone's throw from Denmark Street, St. Giles's (directly east of the parish of St. Anne, Soho), where Joseph Le Jeune is recorded in a Sun insurance policy of 1777 (MS 11936/388968) as an enameller, engine-turner and small worker. The Land Tax record of 1782 for Denmark Street finds Joseph Lejune paying rates on a house next to Joseph Bramah (1748-1814), the engineer and inventor whose name in synonymous with patent locks; and nearby several others in the goldsmiths' trade including James Moriset (Morriset), R. & C. Lukin and Gabl. Wirgman.

It is clear that Lejeune / Le Jeune / Lejune and several other contemporaneous individuals with the same surname living in London during the second half of the 18th century were members of the same family. So far their exact relationship remains open to speculation. That Joseph Lejeune, who on the evidence of this present snuff box was a goldworker (and possibly also a watchcase maker), was living so close to craftsmen of the calibre of James Morriset and the others, renders him of more than passing interest.

From Earth to Fire

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London