The maker's mark JB or IB crowned has been found on a number of english boxes dating from this period. Gold boxes with this mark have been sold at Sotheby's 3 July 2012, lot 169, Christie's, London, 8 December 2011, lot 123, Sotheby's, New York, 15 April 2010, lot 272, Sotheby's, London, 5 March 1998, lot 60 and Sotheby's, London, 21 June 1965, lot 173. It has not been possible, however, to definitively identify the goldsmith responsible for these boxes, though the mark was presumably entered in the now lost small-worker’s register of 1739-58.
What is clear, however, is that with such a rich aristocratic and fashion-conscious clientele, the London goldsmiths, who were highly productive during this time, would have adapted their work to suit the latest French style, though it is very rare to come across an english box of such quality and sophistication. Another unmarked english box, very similar in style and decoration to the present box, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum and is illustrated by Snowman, see K. Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, p. 278, pl. 569. One goldsmith active in London at this time and with the initials JB is John Barbot, who described himself in his will as 'goldsmith and jeweller' when he died in 1766. Barbot's second son Paul, who was born in 1733 and trained by his father, produced in 1774 a fine gold snuff-box set with a plaque chased by George Michael Moser (1706-1783) and now in the Gilbert Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This would suggest that the Barbot workshop was certainly capable of producing snuff-boxes of high quality. Another english box similar to the present example, by George Wirgman, was sold in these rooms 26-27 November 2013, lot 276.