Description Kings and Queens would often present small gold boxes to ambassadors as diplomatic gifts and to courtiers as payment for services. Made of a variety of precious materials – including gold, enamel, semiprecious stones, lacquer, and tortoiseshell – and designed for a variety of uses – ranging from storing snuff to confections - valuable boxes were coveted and enthusiastically collected. Displaying one’s collection of prized boxes or stylishly retrieving one from a pocket were important social rituals; these objects revealed a person’s tastes, interests, and erudition. It is likely that this box was designed to be a bonboninere, or box for sweets.
Provenance Acquired by Henry Walters, Baltimore (date and mode unknown); by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions [Maker’s Mark] on interior side, lid and base and exterior bezel, indicating the work of Claude-Pierre Pottier: crowned fleur de lis, flanked by two grains de remède above Maltese cross with PPC; [Mark of Assayer] on the interior side, lid, and basses and exterior bezel, indicating Henry Clavel II and Jean-Francois Kalendrin: two entwined Ls; [Mark of Warden] on the interior side, lid, and base, indicating the year 1785: script P, crowned and enclosing on the left the incuse figures 85.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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