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Tom's Coffee House snuffbox: M.12 & A-1917

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Tom's Coffee House snuffbox


Box maker: Unknown
Silversmith: Unknown




Oval tortoiseshell box with silver plaques of the Boscobel Oak, Charles I and Queen Anne

Tortoiseshell with embossed, chased and engraved silver plaques. Oval with straight sides. Applied to the top of the slightly domed pull-off lid are two silver portrait busts; the one on the left is of Charles I; the one on the right is of Queen Anne. Between the portraits is an applied and engraved silver tree-shape depicting the Boscobel Oak. Amongst the foliage is the head of Prince Charles, later Charles II, with a cherub above him holding out three crowns, symbolic of the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, to which he had succeeded in 1649, whilst either side of the trunk armed Parliamentarians search for the Prince. To the left and right of the horsemen 'Thomas’ and ‘Haines' are inscribed; and at the base is a ribbon containing the motto 'SACRA IOVI QUERCUS'.


History note: Said to have belonged to Thomas Haines, proprietor of Tom's Coffee House, London

Legal notes

Given by C. Fairfax Murray, Esq.

Measurements and weight

Height: 3.5 cm
Length: 11.0 cm
Width: 9.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1917-03-12) by Murray, Charles Fairfax


18th Century, Early#
After 1707 CE - 1730 CE


The portrait of Charles I is after the memorial medal of Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria of 1649 by Heinrich Reitz the Younger

The portrait of Queen Anne is after the medal by John Croker, struck to commemorate the Union of England and Scotland on 1 May 1707

The silver does not bear a maker's mark or hallmarks

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Box composed of tortoise shell
Portraits composed of silver
Tree composed of silver

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Thomas Haines
  • Location: On the cover
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Name
  • Location: On the cover
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Motto
  • Text: Fitzwilliam Museum / Cambridge / Presented by / C. Fairfax Murray, Esq. / April 1917
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Printed and written in black ink and glued
  • Type: Paper label

Inscription present: a cicular paper label

  • Text: 12/17
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Written in black ink and glued
  • Type: Paper label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.12 & A-1917
Primary reference Number: 150638
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 20 May 2021 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

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 (2024) "Tom's Coffee House snuffbox" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-23 19:15:30

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{{cite web|url= |title=Tom's Coffee House snuffbox |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-23 19:15:30|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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