A magnificent late 18th century gold and enamel snuff box by Frères Jordan (Hanau, active c.1790-1820), with enamel plaque after Angelica Kauffman (Swiss, 1741-1807)
maker's mark FJ crowned incuse
Measuring 10 centimeters in length
Of shallow rectangular form with rounded corners, the cover set with a miniature enameled plaque en pleine depicting a mother and child in a wooded landscape, the sides and base set with turquoise enameled ground stamped at intervals with gold fleur-de-lis and within white enamel fillets, the outer sable gold borders with scrolling foliage.
Marked inside the base and cover with maker's mark FJ crowned incuse, the town mark for Vienna, interlace S, sunray and monogram mark, sunbursts. The flange stamped with inventory number 4686.
A magnificent late 18thC gold & enamel snuff box by Frères Jordan, circa 1790
See cat. no.44 in Charles Truman, The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes, vol.2, for a box with similar marks and a discussion of the FJ initials.
See Clark, J. "Swiss Snuff-Boxes 1785-1835", in H. Williams, ed. Enamels of the World 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London, 2009, pp. 293-305.
Formerly thought to represent the goldsmith Francois Juanin (Geneva) recent scholarly research has identified the mark of FJ crowned incuse as that of Frères Jordan of Hanau (active 1790-1820).
Boxes bearing the marks FJ - with laurel above, with or without a sunray mark and a crossed-S mark, previously attributed to François Joanin, Geneva, are now suggested to be the work of Huguenot goldsmiths who flourished in the Rhineland in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, most notably in Hanau and Berlin. Characterized with the same shallow construction, canted corners and style of decoration and bearing an inventory number struck on the right-hand rim of the cover their production seems to date from circa 1790 to circa 1820.
A notable example of the work of Frères Jordan also bearing an enamel plaque after Angelica Kauffman is a snuff box in the Collection of The National Trust UK RCIN 9355, described as 'Rectangular gold and light brown enamel snuff box with canted corners; the hinged lid with three pale blue reserves, containing classical figures, the central panel depicting a woman, seated, with a sleeping child, flanked by two female figures in octagonal reserves; with green and brown borders of foliage and white rims. The source for the central roundel is a print after Angelica Kauffman, entitled 'Love sleeps', published in 1783. Presented to Queen Mary on her birthday by the Prince Regent and Princess Paul of Yugoslavia, 26 May 1937'
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