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A lady at her dressing table: M.58-1984

An image of Snuff box

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


A lady at her dressing table
Translated as: oval, tortoise shell box inlaid with gold piqué point work flowers; the interior painted with a vignette of a lady seated before her dressing table


Maker: Unknown




Tortoise shell with chased gilt metal mounts, inlaid gold piqué point work and a painted polychrome vignette in bodycolour, probably on card, under glass. Oval with straight sides with projecting edges and a projecting hinge. The top of the lid is decorated with a flowering tree, rocks, plants and a dragonfly. The base is decorated with a simpler image of a plant, cloud and dragonfly. The interior of the lid is painted with a lady seated before her dressing table and mirror; she reads a letter whilst attended by a black servant bringing chocolate or coffee. The thumbpiece and mount of the lid are chased with stylized foliage and flower heads.


History note: Not known before donor

Legal notes

Given by Dr & Mrs J.C. Burkill

Measurements and weight

Height: 1.6 cm
Length: 8 cm
Width: 6.5 cm

Relative size of this object

8 cm1.6 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1984-07-23) by Burkill, J. C., Dr & Mrs


Mid 18th Century
1730 CE - 1760 CE

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Painting composed of bodycolour glass
Box composed of tortoise shell
Mounts composed of metal
Piqué Work composed of gold
Surface Of Mounts composed of gold
Gold Piqué

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.58-1984
Primary reference Number: 150635
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 20 December 2021 Last processed: Friday 11 November 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "A lady at her dressing table" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-05 00:31:40

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=A lady at her dressing table |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-05 00:31:40|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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<div class="text-center">
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        alt="A lady at her dressing table"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">A lady at her dressing table</figcaption>

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