This box is an interesting testimony to the conchyliomania during the 18th century. The period of its manufacture coincides with a particular activer period of the trading in adn collecting of shells, during the reign of Louis XV. In 1736, the famous marchand-mercier E.-F. Gersaint published a sale catalogue of collection of shells he had acquired in the Netherlands. Other Oliva Porphyria boxes are illustrated in A. K. Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, Woodbridge, 1990, plates 347 and 446. Recently sold similar snuff-boxes include one auctioned at the Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 14 December 2000, lot 235, and one sold Christie's, London, 27 November 1991, lot 1.