Louis-Hercule-Timoléon de Cossé, Duc de Brissac, was the governor of Paris. A former neighbour of the Comtesse Dubarry (see lot 102) at Versailles Castle, he started his famous affair with her in 1782. In 1792, Brissac was arrested by the Revolutionaries and imprisoned in Orléans. When he and his fellow prisoners were transferred to Versailles, they were massacred by a mob. Brissac's head was mutilated, stuck on a stake and thrown on the carpet of his mistress. Countess Dubarry was soon consoled by the Duc de Rohan-Chabot. Nevertheless, when during her later imprisonment at Sainte-Pélagie Prison, only one prisoner could escape, Countess Dubarry sacrificed herself to save the life of Madame de Mortemart, Brissac's daughter.
Another gold box with miniature of the Duc de Brissac was sold Sotheby's, London, 11 November 1993, lot 85, and for another bonbonnière by Mané, see lot 138.