Auction of the week

By Rosanna Holmes,
4th July 2011 - 06:48

The Helmut Joseph Collection of Porcelain Snuff Boxes, Bonhams, London, 5th July

Now this is an auction not to be sniffed at. This month sees the finest collection of porcelain snuff boxes ever assembled come up for sale at Bonhams' saleroom on London's New Bond Street. The 80 boxes from the Helmut Joseph Collection are expected to fetch a total of £800,000-£1m. In the 18th century, a beautifully decorated box in which to keep your nicotine hit was the must-have accessory of the beau monde, showing off one's good taste. Such miniature works of art with painted scenes were also given as diplomatic gifts between princes and monarchs. Lots include examples from major factories such as Meissen and Sèvres, with estimates ranging from £3,000-£150,000.

020 7447 7447; bonhams.com

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