This box was previously catalogued as being of the Louis XV period and struck with an indecipherable maker's mark, possibly that of Claude de Villiers, Paris, 1744-50, based on a comparison with a box by him using similar techniques (Snowman, op. cit., p. 124, pl. 227). However the maker's mark struck on the present box clearly starts with an I, with a sun for difference and an indistinct curved second letter. Jean II Gaillard (master in 1695-1754) entered his second mark in July 1731 and this incorporated a sun for difference. A third mark, entered in September 1751, uses, as the difference, a star. Gaillard was suspended from practising his trade after the discovery of an unmarked salt-cellar on his premises in July 1754.
It is of interest that Truman cites a chinoiserie decorated box marked by Jean II Gaillard, 1745 'with engraved gold panels encrusted with mother-of-pearl' which is signed on the bezel 'De Lobel a Paris' indicating that Delobel both supplied other goldsmiths but also retailed boxes by other craftsmen. (This box, the property of Mrs. Ann Hutchinson, was sold by Sotheby's London, 1 June 1970, lot 156 and is illustrated in Apollo, May 1971, p. 112. It was subsequently in the Ortiz-Patio Collection, sold Christie's London, 27 November 1973, lot 20). Another box by Gaillard in the Louvre, is mounted en cage, and inlaid with vari-coloured mother-of-pearl, and dates from 1744 (see S. Grandjean, Catalogue des tabatires botes et tuis des XVIIIe et XIXe sicles du muse du Louvre, Paris, 1981, pp. 101-102, cat. no. 110).