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Title Napoleonic snuff box
Nationality French
Period c 1810

This commemorates the fighting between the English and the French in the Napoleonic Wars. It shows a column of English troops confronting a French grenadier protecting a wounded comrade, with the logo 'Plutot mourir que de nous rendre' (Better to die than surrender) at the top, all of which give it a First Empire provenance.

The English uniforms are quite distinctively delineated, in particular the stovepipe shakos of the officer with the sword and his men behind him.

Constructed from pressed burr walnut, the box (9.5cm long x 5cm wide x 2.2cm deep) is lined in tortoiseshell and the hinge appears to be silver, although pewter is a possibility. The design top and bottom would have been impressed using a hot instrument of some sort while the wood was relatively fresh. Part of one edge of the tortoiseshell is somewhat a/f, while one end of the hinge is slightly loose. Considering its age, the piece is in relatively good shape.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Ephemera : Miscellaneous : French : 19th Century]


Received and in superb condition, thank you

A G, UK, 21.03.2012

I am wholly delighted with the shako plate. [It] is a wee cracker. It is a real pleasure to have something combining both condition and quality in equal parts, and I simply could not be more pleased.

R H, UK, 08.01.2010