Pierre-François Drais (1726-1788) was sponsored as master by Jean Frémin. Drais struck his mark in 1763 whilst living with Jean Ducrollay and Louis Roucell in the place Dauphine in Paris, and was soon employed by the service of the Menus Plaisirs du Roi. Thus he was commissioned for the famous gold box made for the marriage of the Comte d'Artois to Princess Marie-Thérèse of Savoy. As a result, Drais became bijoutier du Roi and had among his many clients Madame du Barry and, later, King Louis XVI of France. Gérard Debèche fils would appear to be the Parisian chaser, or ciseleur, mentioned in the Almanach Dauphin in 1769 and 1777, who executed the chased panels on a box by Drais, dated 1772/1773 and now in the Rosaline and Arthur Gilbert Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Debèche was also responsible for the panels on a box supplied by Drais for the corbeille de marriage of Marie-Antoinette in 1770. The present box pre-dates a snuff-box by Paul Nicolas Menire, Paris, 1778 set with panels of coloured shell with medallions by Gérard Debèche fils, formerly in the collection of the 6th Lord Ashburton, sold Christie's, Geneva, 25 May 1993, lot 69. For a discussion of the work of Gérard Debèche fils see Charles Truman, The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes, Los Angeles, 1991, pp. 94-96.