Henri-Daniel Robineau, Paris, 82 x 60 x 45 mm, circa 1761
A gold snuff box with mother-of-pearl and bone ornaments of museum quality "The Bacchanale"
Case: 22k gold, case maker's punch mark "HDR" (Henri-Daniel Robineau), two later post-1838 Parisian restricted warranty marks for gold, charge and discharge mark Eloy Brichard (1756 - 1762), guild punch mark "X" for the years 1761-1762.
Rectangular box, polished gold, lid inlaid with carved ivory, bone, mother-of-pearl and shimmering abalone shell: bacchanal with a debauched Bacchus, dancing maenads and music-playing satyrs. The four sides lavishly decorated with a wine barrel and a thyrsos on the front, a pannier on the right, a basket with grapes and a hat on the back and a jug with tazza on the left; the base shows a winepress. All six scenes are framed by chased floral gold scrolls and with vine tendrils, grapes, scrolls and leaves in tortoiseshell, abalone shell and mother-of-pearl.
Provenance: The Emile Wertheimer Collection, Sotheby's, London, 13-14 July 1953, lot 272.
In 1754 Henri-Daniel Robineau became a master in Paris; his sponsor was Charles-Etiene Meyboom, who lived at Pont Notre-Dame. In 1769 Henri-Daniel Robineau designed a novel snuff box to open in no fewer than ten different ways without disturbing the decoration; the Maréchal de Richelieu presented it to the King who praised it enthusiastically.
Sources: "Alte Tabakdosen" by Clare Le Corbeiller, Munich 1966, p. 27 and "Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes Of Europe" by A. Kenneth Snowman, London 1990, p. 200.
Case: very good