A GEORGE II GOLD AND HARDSTONE DOUBLE-OPENING SNUFF-BOX
A GEORGE II GOLD AND HARDSTONE DOUBLE-OPENING SNUFF-BOX
A GEORGE II GOLD AND HARDSTONE DOUBLE-OPENING SNUFF-BOX
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A GEORGE II GOLD AND HARDSTONE DOUBLE-OPENING SNUFF-BOX
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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more
A GEORGE II GOLD AND HARDSTONE DOUBLE-OPENING SNUFF-BOX

PROBABLY LONDON, CIRCA 1750, WITH TWO FRENCH IMPORT MARKS

Details
A GEORGE II GOLD AND HARDSTONE DOUBLE-OPENING SNUFF-BOX
PROBABLY LONDON, CIRCA 1750, WITH TWO FRENCH IMPORT MARKS
Double-opening circular box with reeded gold mounts, each cover set with alternating gold panels chased with hunting scenes between diaper-work lapi-lazuli panels, each centred with a chased gold plaque featuring on one side, the Fox and the Stork from Aesop's fables and on the other Diana and a greyhound, the sides with sablé gold bands chased with running hounds and deer within landscapes, gold interior divider, with slightly raised scroll thumbpieces
Special notice

This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay


The general theme of this unsual snuff-box is centred around hunting, but the choice of Aesop's fable of the Fox and the Stork attest to the popularity of this story also known as The Fox and the Crane, later made popular again by Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) in his famous fables published from 1668 (Book I.18). Jean de La Fontaine was probably the most widely read French poet of the 17th Century. Among his sizeable oeuvre, the 'Fables' are without doubt his most celebrated work. La Fontaine had many predecessors in this genre and took inspiration from Aesop, Horace, and ancient Indian literature, such as the Panchatantra. The first collection of his 124 Fables Choisies appeared in 1668 and were dedicated to Louis, the Grand Dauphin, the six-year-old son of Louis XIV.
The present box illustrates the fable 'The Stork and the Fox'. La Fontaine tells the story of a stork which has been unable to enjoy a meal offered by a fox as it was served on a plate. In return, the stork invites the fox to have a meal served in a long-necked vase, which of course the fox cannot enjoy. Unkindness begets unkindness is La Fontaine's message here.

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