A GOLD AND ENAMEL PORTRAIT SNUFF BOX, PROBABLY JEAN-LOUIS HAUCHARD, HANAU, CIRCA 1780
oval, the lid inset with an oval enamel portrait, after Jean Petitot, of a lady with dark ringlets and pearl jewellery, the ground, sides and base enamelled in translucent violet over fine scale engine-turning, the frame and borders chased and enamelled in green and scarlet basse-taille with interlacing and leafy sprays on a sablé ground, the left rim with Hanau bird head 19ct mark, the interior with rubbed Paris prestige marks including charge marks of Brichard and Alaterre
8.5cm, 3⅜in wide
Box has been very successfully re-enamelled, the miniature re-attached and the interior polished so that it looks as good as new!
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The portrait represents a lady presumed to be Mademoiselle Dupré, known as 'la belle jardinière de Meudon', a beauty who had caught the eye of Louis XIV. Petitot's original miniature is in the Louvre (inv. 35720); her curls are shown as much fairer than in the present rendition.
As boxes which can be attributed with certainty to Hauchard are uncommon, it is a pity that the interior of this box has been polished leaving only traces of the marks. For images of the complete mark and an example in the Thurn and Taxis Collection, Regensburg, see Lorenz Seelig, ‘Eighteenth century Hanau gold boxes’, Silver Society of Canada Journal, 2015, vol. 18, figs. 30-32).