This rare circa 1824 French snuff box is composed of papier mache and has a lid which features a miniature portrait depicting French King Charles X. The high carat gilded copper medallion was executed by one of the members of the renowned Morel family - likely Gabriel-Raoul Morel (1764-1832) - and is housed under domed glass. The highly detailed repousse image shows a bust of Charles X seen from three quarters to the right. The king is attired in a military uniform with royal orders and decorations over his heart. The uniform includes shoulder epaulettes with fringe and a wide sash worn diagonally across the chest.
The medallion bears the words "CHARLES X ROI DE FRANCE ET DE NAVARRE." referencing the double royal title first used by Capetian king of France Louis X on November 29, 1314. It also includes the proclaimed coronation date "PROCLAME LE 16 SEPTEMBRE 1824." The piece carries the name of the artist "MOREL F." for Morel Fecit - meaning made by Morel - beneath the right shoulder of the bust.
The underside of the snuff box features ornate pressed decoration with the royal monogram of Charles X at the center. The monogram is encircled by laurel boughs which are in turn bracketed by the words "BOITE ROYALE DE FRANCE." and date "16 SEPTEMBRE 1824". The perimeter is finished with a series of fleurs-de-lis.
The circular snuff box comes complete with its original two-part fitted red velvet storage case. The case measures 4.75" across and is 1.75" tall. The box measures 3.25" across and is 1" tall.
The lidded snuff box is in very good original condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. The top and bottom fit together perfectly. As an antique, the snuff box shows signs of age consisting of minor marks to the papier mache which are mentioned for accuracy. It should also be noted that the metal ring surrounding the medallion is slightly lifted at one side which has resulted in minor tarnish to the gilt surface. The domed glass which covers the medallion is 100% intact and clear. The velvet storage case itself shows wear to the velvet nap which is related to age and use. The storage case closes securely and serves to fully protect the lidded snuff box.
This highly decorative French snuff box displays beautifully and would be a fantastic addition to a collection of tobacciana or French memorabilia of historical significance. The box works equally well as a stand alone decorative accent. A fine piece.