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Galerie J. Kugel, Paris.
Post Lot Text
A GERMAN GOLD-MOUNTED MOSS AGATE SNUFF-BOX
DRESDEN, CIRCA 1740-1750, UNMARKED
the oblong base with cover shaped as a pug dog with ruby eyes, the mount chased with flowers, scrolls and shells
The fashion for pug dogs found its expression in snuff-boxes with the manufacture of gold-mounted hardstone boxes in the present form which were made in Dresden in the mid-18th century. Porcelain examples were manufactured at the Meissen factory at the same time. The pug dog was associated with the German pseudo-Masonic Order of the Pug, created in response to the bull issued in 1738 by Pope Clement XII, forbidding Roman Catholics from belonging to Masonic orders. Owning such a snuff-box would have acted as both a symbol of material wealth and personal ideology (see A. Somers Cocks and C. Truman, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Renaissance Jewels, Gold Boxes and Objects of Vertu, London, 1984, p. 270, no. 92.)