H. 2, 9 cm (1 in.); L. 7, 8 cm (3 in.); W. 5, 8 cm (2 ¼ in.)
Common house of Paris: crowned N for 1776‑1777
Discharge: a monkey head for Paris, 1774‑1780 (BPF 489)
Posterior control mark
Pierre-François Drais (master in 1763), a famed Parisian gold box maker of the second half of the 18th century, probably begun his career as a “compagnon” in the workshop of his cousins Jean and Jean-Charles Ducrollay. Drais’ workshop specialised in creation of gold boxes mounted with various precious materials: porcelain, miniatures, hardstones or lacquer panels.
Gold boxes mounted with Japanese lacquer became fashionable in the second half of the 18th century, and a box with lacquer panels dating from 1749/50 by Vincent Bastien is thought to be the first known of this kind. A snuffbox adorned with two miniatures by Van Blarenberghe and an identical mount to the present snuffbox, made by Pierre-François Drais, Paris 1774–1775, used to be at Waddesdon Manor.