"LR" (Louis Roucel), 61 x 33 mm, circa 1780
An exquisite, extremely rare Bonbonniére with two miniature paintings
Case: 22k gold, maker's mark "LR" (Louis Roucel), Parisian 22k gold guarantee mark 1774-1780, charge mark Jean-Baptiste Fouache (1775 - 1781).
Round box with independant lid, walls with black lacquer and red gold paillon star ornaments, very finely engraved two-colour gold mountings. Lid and base both have very fine enamel portraits in gold frames on bone and under glass: the lid shows the portrait of a lady thought to be Queen Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) in a lace dress with her curly hair pinned up; the base shows a portrait of an unknown woman from the queen’s circle in a low cut dress with her powdered hair pinned up and decorated with a diadem and a string of pearls.
The Musée Antoine Lécuye owns a similar painting of Marie Antoinette. It was painted in 1775 by an unknown artist, who is thought to be Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty (1740-1786).
Marie Antoinette (1755-1793)
Marie Antoinette, House of Habsburg-Lorraine, was born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, Archduchess of Austria and Princess of Hungary, Bohemia and Tuscany. Upon her marriage to the Dauphin of France she became Dauphine of France and later Queen of France and Navarre. Marie Antoinette was one of the most dazzling figures during the French Revolution and followed her husband to the scaffold nine months after his death.
Source: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Antoinette, as of 09/26/2014
Louis Roucel was one of the most renowned jewellers of his time but only became a master by special privilege several years after his first pieces have been recorded. His sponsor was Alexis Porcher. The archives show that in 1759 Roucel lived and worked at the Place Dauphine in the house of box maker and royal goldsmith Jean Ducrollay; he is known to have moved to the Quai de l'Horloge in January 1764. He remained there until 1776, a year after the death of his wife.
Roucel’s name was frequently listed in the records of the department of Menus-Plaisirs du Roi, which was in charge of of all the preparations for ceremonies, events and festivities, down to the last detail of design and order. He is mentioned for having received the sum of 4,800 livres for jewels supplied on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie Antoinette in 1770. Louis Roucel died on March 6, 1787 in Puteaux, a village to the west of Paris.
Case: very good, slightly damaged