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Snuff box: PER.M.356 & A-1923

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Obrisset, John (Possibly)




Oval, horn box pressed with a vignette of Alexander the Great standing before the kneeling family of Darius III

Horn, carved and pressed. Oval with straight sides. The top of the pull-off lid depicting Alexander the Great accompanied by his lieutenant, Ephesion, visiting the mourning family of the defeated Persian king Darius III after the battle of Issus; beneath, in relief, is the legend 'Sui victoria indicat Regem'. Inside the lid and base are the pressed initials 'OB' within four concentric oval rings.

Legal notes

Spencer George Perceval Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 2.6 cm
Length: 10.3 cm
Width: 8.3 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1922) by Perceval, Spencer George


18th Century, Early#
1705 CE - 1728 CE


John Obrisset was the son of a Huguenot ivory worker from Dieppe. With his family he emigrated to England circa 1686, and flourished from 1705 to 1728.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Carving : The base, sides and lid were carved from horn. The pieces were then heated and pressed to form flat sheets, moulding or pressed patterns before being glued to form a box, which was then stained, possibly to resemble bronze.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Sui victoria indicat Regem

  • Location: On the lid
  • Method of creation: Pressed
  • Text: OB
  • Location: Inside the lid and in the base
  • Method of creation: Pressed
  • Type: Maker's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: PER.M.356 & A-1923
Primary reference Number: 150649
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 16 August 2019 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) "Snuff box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-13 02:44:31

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Snuff box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-13 02:44:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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