Antique & Estate Jewelry / Gold / Sales

Hindman Sale to Offer Rare Gold Boxes and Objects of Vertu


On Oct. 18, Hindman auction house is bringing rare objects of vertu all from a single collection, Gold Boxes and Vertu from the Estate of a Prominent Kansas City Collector, to Chicago. Presenting 42 boxes and objects, the late owner’s collection includes a breadth of pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries—snuff boxes, boîtes à portrait, nécessaires, and more—that demonstrate impeccable technical craftsmanship. The pieces—often in gold and adorned with enamel, mother-of-pearl, and other jewels or exotic materials—were typically presented as imperial gifts or purely indicators of wealth.

Hindman snuff box
Snuff box in gold-mounted bloodstone with diamonds and colored diamonds; estimate: $25,000–$35,000

“It is a specialist’s dream to be able to handle a collection of this level of quality and thoughtful curation on behalf of the original collector,” Nick Coombs, Hindman’s senior specialist for European furniture and decorative arts, said in a statement. “Instead of being focused exclusively on one specific era, country or form, it features some of the best craftsmanship and most stunning examples of the past 250 years.”

Highlights from the sale include the 18th-century snuff box (shown above) adorned in numerous old mine–, European-, and rose-cut diamonds of varying colors; an oval snuff box showcasing a portrait miniature of a woman framed with gold and inset–pearl banding; a Swiss gold and enamel bonbonnière portraying allegorical characters framed with a gold coin-meander; an 18th-century compound scent flask, snuff box, and hand seal in the form of a classic female bust; a Louis XVI gold snuff box by Jean Antoine Robiquet (circa 1770, Paris), both of which are also shown at top.

Hindman snuff box and Bonbonnière
Left: A French portrait-inset snuff box in gold and enamel with seed pearl, estimate: $7,000–$9,000; right: a bonbonnière in gold and enamel, estimate: $6,000–$8,000

To bid, register here.

Top: A French figural compound scent flask, snuff box, and hand seal of Ducal interest in gold, estimate: $5,000–$7,000; and a Louis XVI snuff box in gold, estimate: $4,000–$6,000 (photos courtesy of Hindman)

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By: Annie Davidson Watson

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