Snuffbox

English, probably Bilston or Wednesbury
about 1770
Artist Unknown, 19th century


Object Place: Europe, England

Dimensions

4.4 x 7.6 x 9.7 cm (1 3/4 x 3 x 3 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

1983.665

Medium or Technique

Enameled copper, transfer-printed, with polychrome decoration; engraved metal mounts

On View

Charles C. Cunningham Gallery (Gallery 247)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Enamels

The rectangular box has a domed cover and waisted sides. The cover and the upper rim of the box are mounted with metal bands that are hinged along the back of the box. The mounts on the cover are machine-engraved with wavy lines; a small metal thumbpiece, also engraved, is affixed at the center of the mount on the front of the box. The box is enameled with a pale turquoise ground over a layer of white enamel. A pattern of raised, white dotted trelliswork, with large dots at the intersections and center of each square, is applied over the turquoise ground. A white reserve bordered with gilded yellow scrollwork occupies the center of the front, back, sides, and base of the box. The reserves on the front and back painted with large bouquets of red, yellow, purple, and blue flowers with green foliage. The reserves round on the sides and base of the box are decorated individual sprays of yellow, puce, and violet flowers with green foliage
The white reserve on the cover is bordered with gilded white scrollwork. Within the reserve is a transfer print of a man and a woman seated on the grassy bank of a river. The woman wears a full length dress with a yellow bodice and a purple red skirt. The man wears a full, white, high-collared shirt, a blue waistcoat, black breeches, white stockings, and black shoes. A tall, brown dovecote overgrown with foliage stands behind the seated couple. On the far bank two women kneeling on a brown ledge wash clothing in the river. One woman wears a brown and white dress, the other a puce dress. Behind the women is a brown stone building with a water wheel; several tall trees with green and yellow foliage stand to the right of the building. The interior of the box is enameled in white.

Provenance

New York. 1957, Rita and Frits Markus; 1983, gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus