An antique bois de visite pictorial composition-tortoiseshell musical snuffbox, by Paillard,
Remember your visit to Paris in pure musical style
When wound by key to underside and start/stop actuated by sliding the left mother-of-pearl button to the right, the first of two airs play, whilst the listener is reminded of the Paris landmark to lid, opening to reveal snuff compartment with full visible movement window.
The Paillard two-air cylinder movement with single-section comb on plain brass bedplate, change/repeat as cylinder-shift bar to manually operated mother-of-pearl button to right-hand side, under smoked horn panel as the snuff compartment base, in composition tortoiseshell case with pressed full-plate view of the Parthenon in Paris with excellent clarified detail to include the finer architectural features of the building and people walking by outside, with titled banner above, wave-line ground border framing the scene, polished brass pin thumb grip to lid edge centre, circular mother-of-pearl buttons to front for actuations, plain sides, underside with winding spindle access and the whole panel with further pressed detail.
Point of interest -
All-tortoiseshell snuffboxes were very popular in the 1820s onwards and for the gentleman who wished to show off, these sometimes contained hidden erotic automatons as well as a musical movement.
By the 1860s, most major European cities had at least one outlet which offered boxes to celebrate the visit, emblazoned with a scene of a landmark. From the Opera house in Berlin, to the Palais Royale - most wonders were covered.
As these usually used a good Paillard movement, the only thing to cost up was the tortoiseshell, which could be very expensive, so instead they used the much more brittle composition tortoiseshell, comprising tortoiseshell powder mixed with animal glues and dyes. This also made the pressing of pictures to the lid possible.
However, they were very fragile and very few survive in perfect condition. This example has one or two areas of fatigue, but quite within margin if considering a composition box can be rarer than an earlier all-tortoiseshell example.
Playing two Scottish airs, this was marketed to the British market - a good, healthy and musically pleasing piece of tourist history.