Precious and decorative boxes have always been widely collected and sought-after as gifts for royalty, aristocracy and elite.
Snuff boxes, meant to hold a powder of tobacco, are the most collected among all precious containers. The most valuable are gold, gold mounted or silver, and they can be embellished with enamel, hand-painted scenes, exotic materials (such as tortoiseshell and ivory), micro-mosaic or profusely set with diamonds and other gemstones. Very popular in the 18th century, they remained a stylish accessory for gentlemen for all the first half of the next century.
Other collectable boxes, generally smaller and less ornate than snuff boxes, are vinaigrettes (small containers used to contain aromatic substance or salts).
At the opening of the 20th century, famous luxury brands such as Cartier applied stylish Art Deco designs to vanity and cigarette boxes, lavishly decorated with enamel and set with jade and diamonds.
GOLD BOXES AND OBJECTS OF VERTU IN OUR COLLECTION