A TREASURY OF VERTU: Important Gold Boxes from a Private Family Collection

A TREASURY OF VERTU: Important Gold Boxes from a Private Family Collection

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 18. A rare hardstone appliqué snuff box with two-colour gold mounts, ** Hoffman, probably Berlin, circa 1770.

A rare hardstone appliqué snuff box with two-colour gold mounts, ** Hoffman, probably Berlin, circa 1770

Auction Closed

December 10, 02:29 PM GMT

Estimate

400,000 - 600,000 GBP

Lot Details

Description

A rare hardstone appliqué snuff box with two-colour gold mounts, ** Hoffman, probably Berlin, circa 1770


rectangular, the lid and body of carefully-chosen translucent banded agate, applied on the lid with a cluster of brightly-coloured hardstone and stained glass ladybirds and beetles confronting a fly within a delicate gold tracery of leaves, ribbons and turquoise flowers, the thumbpiece centred with a radiating star, wavy gold mount and footrim, the front with a battle between an elaborately carved stag-beetle and two flies, the sides with bright butterflies dancing on the creamy waves of agate, the base signed in a curve of the stone: Hoffman F., in a fitted 19th century velvet-lined leather case,

7.9cm., 3 1/8 in. wide


It is probable that this is the box listed in the catalogue of the sale of a Dr Morand in Paris on 1-11 December 1773, which is described as 'une boîte carrée de belle agate d'Allemagne, montée en or, travaillé à jour, elle est ornée d'insectes composés d'agate, de sardoine-onyx, cornaline, jaspe. Cette pièce très curieuse est faite par Hoffmann' (quoted by Alphonse Maze-Sencier, Le livre des collectionneurs, Paris, 1885, p. 149; Kenneth Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, Woodbridge, 1990, p. 302 and Charles Truman, The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes, vol.I, Los Angeles, 1991, no. 66, p. 193.
Kenneth Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, Woodbridge, 1990, pls. 618 and 618A;
Charles Truman, The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes, vol.I, Los Angeles, 1991, p. 193
Fanfare for Europe, 1973, no. 292