Snuffbox thumbnail 1
Snuffbox thumbnail 2
+2
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries

Snuffbox

1809-1819 (marked)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The tortoiseshell panels are taken from an earlier box, probably made around 1720. They form a curious mixture of Chinese and Roman figures, typical of the period when interest in the East, manifested as Chinoiserie, combined with the classical Baroque ornament favoured at the court of Louis XV. The decoration is formed used two techniques: piqué, in which tiny points of gold are set into the tortoiseshell, and encrusté, in which gold or silver plates are inlaid under pressure onto the heated shell.

Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette made this box for the firm of Ouizille and Lemoine. It is characteristic of Vachette's desire to use unusual materials to decorate his boxes.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world’s great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Engine-turned gold set with tortoiseshell panels
Brief description
Snuffbox with Roman soldiers and Chinese figures. Gold, tortoiseshell. Adrien-Jean-Maximillien Vachette for Ouizillle and Lemoine, Paris, 1809-19
Physical description
A rectangular, engine-turned gold box, the cover and base set with blonde tortoishell panels depicting Roman soldiers and Chinese figures.
Dimensions
  • Length: 8cm
  • Width: 6cm
  • Height: 2.2cm
Style
Gallery label
2. Snuffbox with figures in ancient Roman and Chinese dress, 1809–19 Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.1031-2008(16/11/2016)
Credit line
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Object history
Provenance: D.S Lavender, London.
Production
Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette for Ouizille and Lemoine.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The tortoiseshell panels are taken from an earlier box, probably made around 1720. They form a curious mixture of Chinese and Roman figures, typical of the period when interest in the East, manifested as Chinoiserie, combined with the classical Baroque ornament favoured at the court of Louis XV. The decoration is formed used two techniques: piqué, in which tiny points of gold are set into the tortoiseshell, and encrusté, in which gold or silver plates are inlaid under pressure onto the heated shell.



Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette made this box for the firm of Ouizille and Lemoine. It is characteristic of Vachette's desire to use unusual materials to decorate his boxes.



Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world’s great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.
Bibliographic references
  • Habsburg-Lothringen, Géza von. Gold boxes from the collection of Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert. R. & A. Gilbert, 1983. 125 p., ill. Cat no. 63, p. 114. ISBN.0961039809.
  • Truman, Charles.The Gilbert collection of gold boxes, Vol. I. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1991, cat. no. 38, pp. 124-5. ISBN.0875871623
Other numbers
  • GB 42 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • 1996.403 - The Gilbert Collection, Somerset House
  • MM 259 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • 1996.629 - The Gilbert Collection, Somerset House
Collection
Accession number
LOAN:GILBERT.1031-2008

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Record createdJune 19, 2008
Record URL
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