Antique French Papier Mache Snuff Box. Circa 1820. This very old snuff box is made out of japanned (ebonized) papier mache. The box is the shape and size designed to fit easily in a gentleman’s waistcoat pocket. The illustration on the lid, in shades of brown and black, consists of a woman seated on a throne with tropical trees in the background. The caption at the bottom reads “La tragedie ou Melpomene.” Melpomene was the Greek muse of tragedy and is pictured here holding a dagger in her left hand and the mask of tragedy on the right hand arm of the throne.
The piece is 3 inches (7.75 cm) in diameter and ¾ inch (2 cm) in height.
The lid fits snugly but shows signs of wear where the paper has worn away (see close up photos).
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