This week, I came across a piece of what I believe to be #Meissen porcelain. It is a #tabatiere or #snuffbox. It measures out at 5″ by 3″ by 2″. I know that Meissen porcelain and its mark have been forged quite regularly but after you have seen the images of this snuff box I hope that you will agree with me that it is authentic. I will state from the outset that there is a major crack in the lid but even so it is a lovely piece.
We begin with a top/front view of the box with its’ gold trim. Please be assured that all the decorations and images which are on this tabatiere are hand done. There are four painted images and much gold scroll work on the box. Often with items such as this, one artist would decorate the outside of the piece and another would paint the interior – if it were decorated. The artist doing the interior was always the better artist.
We see images of the top, front, and rear of the box, all showing coastal/nautical scenes. All three done with exquisite finesse. Superb brush work and the colours still so vibrant for I place the making of this piece around 1760. Even the bottom is decorated not with an image as some tabatieres are but with wonderful scroll and line work.The piece also bears the crossed swords mark of the Meissen factory – although somewhat indistinct.
As I stated earlier the interior of a snuff box might be decorated or it might be gilt or even pure white with no adornment. For this box, the fourth image resides on the interior of the lid and more scroll work adorns the inner sides and bottom. When one opens the lid, we are greeted with another nautical/coastal scene. The finest work of the four painted. I believe that the same artist has painted all four scenes on this snuff box but it is possible that a second artist might have performed all the gold scroll and let line work.
A beautiful piece of porcelain as well as art from a factory renowned for both.
Ps. The most expensive snuff box to be auctioned was sold in 2011 and it sold for £870,000 ($1,200,000). That’s right. It sold for far far more than its’ estimate.