The rarest of quality and exceptional detail of this museum quality piece are magnificent.
A lavishly painted Martin Vernis style snuff box adorned with a different scene of astounding detail on every surface. The scene on the lid portrays three ladies and one gentleman playing backgammon. Their expressions and the detail to their clothes give them a life-like appearance, one can almost hear the shaking of the dice by the young lady on the left.
The front bottom panel depicts the beginning scene of a noble lady in a French fiacre (carriage), with two white horses and two footmen in red jackets. They ride in front of the entrance in front of a grand chateau, of which we see clearly the staircase and the stone walls. There are ladies and gentlemen strolling along the street, the detail is so fine that you can vividly see one gentleman's cane and the ladies fancy dresses with the naked eye.
The lady and fiacre ride off around the box, with each scene depicting the places they are passing......Roman columns, woods and trees, people strolling along the road and a lady who looking towards the distance out of her chaise-a-porter (carried by two noble footmen).
On the bottom of the box (even the box bottom has been meticulously adorned!) is a mysterious chateau, with a gentleman in a red coat fishing the lake in front of the chateau.
The front of the box is fitted with a decorative "clasp" of gold to use when opening the box, therefore protecting the paintings. The inner band of the box is bronze dore. The interior is finished with black lacquer and still retains a numbered inventory ticket (used in inventory for private collections).
The box is in incredibly good condition - a rarity with this type of box. There is no loss to the color or detail of the paintings. There are a few trivial chips along the edges and one on the bottom scene. It measures: 3 1/2" long, 2 5/8" deep (front to middle back) and 1 1/2" high.
It is truly a special privilege, to behold and regard such a rarely seen piece from the period of Marie Antoinette.
For reference see: Les secrets de la laque française: le vernis Martin
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Fine French Small Antiques; Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Antique Books, Napoleon III, Porte Montre, Cast Bronze