A NAPOLEONIC GOLD PRESENTATION SNUFF-BOX
A NAPOLEONIC GOLD PRESENTATION SNUFF-BOX

BY ÉTIENNE-LUCIEN BLERZY (FL. 1801-1808), MARKED, WITH THE EXCISE AND SECOND STANDARD MARKS FOR GOLD PARIS 1809-1819 AND THE FRENCH POST-1798 UNOFFICIAL STANDARD MARK FOR 18-CARAT GOLD, THE FLANGE ENGRAVED WITH RETAILER'S NAME 'GIBERT SUCCESSEUR DE LEMPEREUR À PARIS' AND INVENTORY NUMBERS 182 AND 'N.O 18-1'

Details
A NAPOLEONIC GOLD PRESENTATION SNUFF-BOX
BY ÉTIENNE-LUCIEN BLERZY (FL. 1801-1808), MARKED, WITH THE EXCISE AND SECOND STANDARD MARKS FOR GOLD PARIS 1809-1819 AND THE FRENCH POST-1798 UNOFFICIAL STANDARD MARK FOR 18-CARAT GOLD, THE FLANGE ENGRAVED WITH RETAILER'S NAME 'GIBERT SUCCESSEUR DE LEMPEREUR À PARIS' AND INVENTORY NUMBERS 182 AND 'N.O 18-1'

octagonal heavy gold box, the slightly raised cover inset with a sablé gold panel chased with scrolling foliate Napoleonic initial 'N', within a narrow gold border stamped with stylized acanthus, the bevelled sablé gold border stamped with a frieze of polished gold foliage and flowers, the four sides and base with similarly framed panels engine-turned with a peaked diaper pattern, the corners of the sides stamped with classical vases on a sablé gold ground, in original fitted red leather case
4 in. (100 mm.) wide
8¾ oz. (255 gr.)
Post lot text
For another box by this goldsmith see lot 108.

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Lot Essay

Etienne-Lucien Blerzy entered a maker’s mark for: bijouterie: le gros bijou d’or in 1801/02 from 118 rue du Coq St-Honoré. He died there in 1808. Goldsmiths such as Vachette, Montauban and Blerzy, whose elder brother, Joseph-Etienne Blerzy, had been one of the most prolific gold box makers of the Ancien Régime, supplied the Emperor and his family with snuff boxes on which to mount their ciphers or portraits. Etienne-Lucien Blerzy is known to have supplied boxes to both Marguerit, official jeweller to Napoleon who sold the Emperor one hundred gold portrait boxes in 1806, and as with this box, Gibert on the quai Voltaire. Napoleon and members of his family found them a useful means of expressing Imperial favour. Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821, a French military and political leader, rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and from 1804 was styled Napoleon I, Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815. His reign lasted until 22 June 1815 when he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, exiled and imprisoned on the island of Saint Helena, where he died on 5 May 1821. For a very similar box by Blerzy see Christie's, London, 28 May 2002, lot 225.

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