English, probably Birmingham
about 1760
Artist Unknown, 19th century

Object Place: Europe, England


6.3 x 7.3 x 9.4 cm (2 1/2 x 2 7/8 x 3 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Enameled copper with polychrome decoration; gilt-metal mounts

On View

Charles C. Cunningham Gallery (Gallery 247)





The rectangular box has a domed cover decorated with a polychrome pastoral scene. The sides are painted with polychrome floral sprays on a white ground. A pink shell is painted at the center of the white base. The scene on the cover shows a shepherd and shepherdess seated on a river bank in front of the ruins of an overgrown classical portico and to the left of a decorated brown pedestal supporting a purple urn. The barefoot shepherd wears a yellow shirt, blue breeches, a red coat, and a brown hat. He holds a long staff in his right hand. The shepherdess, who plays a small clarinet (?), wears a full-length blue dress and a yellow smock. To the couple’s right stands a large rust-colored cow, surrounded by five sheep. Across the water from the animals is a waterfall amid tall rocks. A windowed tower and some trees are visible at the far end of the river. In the foreground, on the opposite bank the river, are two goats and an outcrop of rocks overgrown with folliage. The interior of the box is enameled in white. The gilt-metal mounts are horizontally ribbed, and the thumbpiece is scalloped and ridged.


(1) on base, in pink enamel: shell (?)


Thelma Chrysler Foy. New York. Rita and Frits Markus; 1983, gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus