Snuffbox

English, probably Bilston or Wednesbury
about 1765
Artist Unknown, 19th century


Object Place: Europe, England

Dimensions

4.4 x 7 x 9.1 cm (1 3/4 x 2 3/4 x 3 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

1983.664

Medium or Technique

Metal, 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 arc machine-engraved with a pattern of 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 dark pink ground over a layer of white enamel. A pattern of raised, white dotted trelliswork with large dots at the intersection and center of each square is painted over the pink ground. A white reserve bordered with white scrollwork occupies the center of each side and the bottom of the box. The reserves on the front and the back are painted with large bouquets of puce, yellow, blue, and purple flowers with green foliage. The reserves on the sides and bottom of the box are decorated with individual sprays of purple, puce, and yellow flowers with green folliage.
The white reserve on the cover is also bordered with white scrollwork. Within the reserve is a transfer print of an Italianate quay scene. On the left is a brown and puce building flanked by walls, above which appear rows of trees with green, orange, and yellow foliage. Beyond this building to the right stands another building, painted gray blue; a pale green quay runs in front of both buildings. Several people walk on the quay, some conversing, others carrying baskets and pails. In the water near the quay is a brown gondola carrying several people and bearing a puce flag. The interior of the box is enameled in white.

Provenance

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

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus