A Louis XV gold, harsdtone, abalone, mother of pearl and silver-gilt mounted snuff box, By Antoine Daroux, Paris 1747. Estimate £20,000 – 25,000 (€25,000 – 32,000). Photo Bonhams.

Rectangular, the cover set with a mother of pearl panel relief carved with a scene of a tented army camp inlaid with gold, agate abalone shell and stained mother of pearl to depict an officer being offered a drink by a maid from a barrel within a silver-gilt frame with wavy moulded edges, the side panels with similarly decorated mother of pearl panels depicting marshal trophies, the underside panel with an officer at rest under a tree surveying both inlaid and engraved rows of tents, height 4cm, length 8cm.

Notes: The State Hemitage in St Petersburg holds a box by Etienne Trenel, Paris 1749-50, that has similarly moulded gold mounts and uses the same technique of relief decorated mother of pearl panels that are inlaid with further coloured mother of pearl, gold and hardstones, cat. no. 56 in Jewellery of France from the 18th to early 19th centuries(The State Hermitage Publishers 2012). This box was also illustrated by Snowman, plates 240 and 240A, Eighteenth Century Gold Snuff Boxes (London 1990). The scenes depicted are Chinoiserie but the style and technique are almost identical, especially the leaf canopies of the trees.

A box with almost identical military camp iconography was sold by the late Baron Maximilien de Goldschmidt-Rothschild and the Baronne de Becker, Sotheby’s Monaco, 29th November 1975, ex lot 136. The cover of the box has a scene of millers filling sacks of grain whilst the underside has the same three conical-form tents with a standing guard.