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Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description In western Europe during the 18th century, small boxes, ostensibly snuff containers, executed in gold and other precious materials, were among the most prized, luxury products. In this example, the master goldsmith Jean George worked in several colors of gold, the differences being achieved by using different alloys, a technique known as quatre couleur. The images on the six surfaces of the box recall the harbor scenes of the painter Joseph Vernet (1714-1789).
Date Description Narrative
5/13/2015ExaminationCleaned for exhibition
6/01/2015TreatmentCleaned for exhibition
  • Objects of Vertu: Precious Works of the Eighteenth Century. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
  • Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. 2015-2016.
Provenance Sir Jacob Astley (1797-1859), 6th Baronet, 16th Baron Hastings, Norfolk, England; Sir George Manners Astley (1857-1904), 10th Baronet, 20th Baron Hastings, England, by inheritance; Harding, London; Henry Walters, Baltimore; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Mark of Goldsmith] On the interior of the lid, interior of the base, and interior of left side wall indicating the work of Jean Georges: Crowned fleur-de-lis, flanked by two grains de remède with a five pointed star below and the initials JG; [Mark of Assayer] On the interior of the lid, interior of the base, and interior of the left side wall, indicating the year of 1758: Crowned, italic S; [Mark of Warden] On the interior of the lid, interior of the base, and interior of left side wall indicating the charge mark of Éloi Brichard et Étienne Somfoye: portcullis; [Warrant or décharge] On the right bezel for the export to foreign countries, approved by Jean-Jacques Prévost: a small cow; [Possible Order or Inventory Number] On the left bezel: 845.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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mid 19th century (?)
gold alloy with silver, diamonds (center diamond reverse painted to be pink), topaz (?), rubies, emeralds, sapphires
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
H (including highpoint of clasp) : 1 9/16 ×W (across the front): 3 3/16 × D (down the side): 2 5/16 in. (4 × 8.1 × 5.87 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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