Snuffboxes and Сigarette Сases

Rocaille snuffbox

    Rocaille snuffbox

    France, Paris


    G. Bouvier

    Gold; engraving, relief embossing, enamel over guilloche, enamel over engraving

    Depth 7.5 cm

    Signature under the image: G. BOUVIER


    Snuffbox of cartouche form, opaque white ground with a central chased medallion of Diana with attendant and hounds, within gold flourishes and insects picked out in translucent green enamel, set into the lid of a contemporary Birmingham gilt-metal snuffbox worked with rocaille shells, garlands and scrolls


    Little is known about the life and career of Guillaume Bouvier although he is recorded as an enameller working in Paris around 1740. He was apparently a member of a large family specialising in watches both in France and later Switzerland. It can be assumed that Guillaume worked principally as a watch casemaker. A signed gold and green example decorated with an Eastern merchant was sold in 1970 (Sotheby’s, 8 June, lot 159) and an unsigned example, decorated in white enamel and gold with a different view of Diana, then attributed to Fromery, was noted in 1973 (Sotheby’s, 19 March, lot 265). A rectangular turquoise blue enamel plaque (Sotheby’s Zurich, 9 November 1975, lot 78) decorated in gold picked out in green, was designed on the same principle as this plaque and the watchcases. Each has a central subject within a circular scrolled frame, the ground scattered with scrolls, flowers, shells, or in the present case, insects.