Lot 3
  • 3

AN 18 CT GOLD MUSICAL SNUFF BOX, THE MOVEMENT GENEVA, THE BOX PROBABLY HANAU, CIRCA 1820 | An 18 ct gold musical snuff box, the movement Geneva, the box probably Hanau, circa 1820

10,000 - 15,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • 7.1cm., 2 1/2 in. wide
rectangular with cut corners, the lid chased with musical trophies within floral scrollwork and a gryphon's head to each corner over sablé ground, framed by an engine-turned border and spandrels with stylised fleur de lys on sablé ground, the base with engine turned diaper pattern within alternating wavy and plain borders, containing a double sur plateau musical movement consisting of a rectangular gilt-metal plate, revolving plate with 17 teeth in fan shape to either side, playing one polyphone tune, maker's mark a star above 'S C' in a horizontal lozenge, 'CR' in an oval control mark, further struck '18' for 18 ct gold, with a later key


Assoicated literature: Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume, Musical Box. A history and collector's guide, London, 1980

Catalogue Note

Many advances in the creation of very small and very thin movements for refined watches, musical boxes and automata are credited to Piguet & Meylan, as well as the invention of the sur-plateau movement, such as the one in the base of the gold snuff box in the present lot. Isaac-Daniel Piguet (1775-1841) was born in Le Chenit (Vaud) and is said to have moved to Geneva before 1800, where he was at first working for Jean-Frederic Leschot before entering into partnership with his brother-in-law, the mécanicien Henri Capt, on 10th February 1802. He appears on his own as horloger mécanicien à la Madelaine in 1809 but entered a new partnership with Philippe-Samuel Meylan (1772-1845) in 1811. The two worked together as 'Marchands & Fournisseurs d'Horlogerie & Bijouterie' with a workshop at Chevelu, Maison Bellot (later renamed 45 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau), until the ultimate dissolution of the partnership in February 1828.