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A rare Russian varicolor gold & guilloché enamel snuffbox, Jean François Xavier Boudde, St. Petersburg, 1780. The shallow, circular box of red gold with slip-on lid set with a painted glass view of fisherman on a river in sepia, the sides & base enameled in a translucent steel blue over a guilloché semé with dots ground, bordered by bands of matted yellow gold chased with scrolling leaves enameled translucent green & simulated pearls of white opaque enamel. Struck with Boudde’s mark (Latin FXB in a heart-shaped incuse), a St. Petersburg assay mark dated 178?, an engraved Cyrillic letter П as a date mark for 1780, &1084stamped on the flange.Dia. 2 1/2 in., height 5/8 in. (1.7 cm). (6.8 x 1.7 cm).
Sotheby & Co., London, December 10, 1962, lot 30, illustrated.
Gold boxes by (Jean) François Xavier Boudde (fl. 1769-1785/9) are quite rare; only a handful survive in public & private collections. The greatest number are housed in the Hermitage’s Gold Room & include jeweled presentation boxes with portraits of Catherine II, Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich, & Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich (the future Alexander I) as a child. (This collection also includes an important chalice in gold, filigree, & enamel as well as a gold bottle holder for Catherine II.) Outside of Russia, a gold & enamel box with a view of the Bronze Horseman is in the Gilbert Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum & large gold box with enamel plaques after Boucher is in the collection of the Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris (inv. J486). See O. Kostiuk, Peterburgskie iuveliry XVIII-XIX vek(St. Petersburg: Slaviia, 2000), pp. 82-83 & Heike Zech,Gold Boxes. Masterpieces from the Rosalinde & Arthur Gilbert Collection (London: V&A Publishing, 2015), pp. 126-127, no. 45.
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