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A rare early 18th century English silver Box.

A rare D-shaped silver box, the lid with a tortoiseshell panel, the base with foliate engraving, maker’s mark only, by John Lewis Marc, London circa 1710. The lid is secured with a catch with push button release and an interior spring opens the lid. The inside of the box gilt.

This box was acquired after offering a tear-drop nutmeg grater by the same maker, hitherto largely unrecorded, on this website. The silversmith, John Lewis Marc, was clearly a specialist box maker. His mark, ‘I.L.’ beneath a crown and above ‘M’ is recorded by Grimwade [mark no.1497], and was entered at the London Goldsmiths’ Company in June 1726. However, surviving boxes prove that the same mark was used by Marc long before 1726. Two examples of cut-corner rectangular boxes, one engraved on the lid with a bird amidst foliate scrollwork, the second box engraved on the lid with Cupid guarding an altar with two flaming hearts below a motto, are illustrated in ‘British Silver Boxes, 1640-1840‘. The author, John Culme, dates these examples as circa 1685 but they must surely be at least fifteen years later. Another example, dated circa 1700, is illustrated in Delieb,’Silver Boxes‘, [second edition], plate 153.

The ‘Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London‘, vol. XIV, has a reference to Jean Louis Marc, goldsmith, living in 1700 with Mr. Doyenne [Nicholas Doyenne, a sculptor] at ‘The Two Black Pigs‘ in Litchfield street. Marc had married Martha Roquiette at the Savoy chapel in 1700.
At the time of registering his mark in 1726, Marc’s address was Tower Street, Soho. He died on the 8th December 1739. Claude Fradin, the wife of Abraham Fradin, a cabinet maker of St. James’ Westminster, and Catherine Marc, spinster, presumably Marc’s daughter, attested to the handwriting of Marc’s will, written in French and not witnessed.

SKU: O4499 Category:



Good with a small amount of surface marking to the base and some rusting to the steel spring.


Length – 6 cm.; Width – 5.80 cm.; Depth – 1.40 cm.; Weight – 62.20 gms.

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