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Snuff box: M.1-1938

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Silversmith: Unknown




Oval silver box chased with animals from Aesop's fables and set with a carved bloodstone and a mother-of-pearl plaque

Silver chased and set with a carved bloodstone and a mother-of-pearl plaque. Oval with a flat back, slightly convex sides and a recessed hinge. The almost flat lid is chased with four panels each containing animals from Aesop's fables, including a fox, raven, dog, cockerel and chicken. In the centre is an oval bloodstone intaglio depicting the family of the Emperor Darius before Alexander and Hephaestion. The sides are chased with four panels containing a fox, a rabbit, houses and birds. The base is set with a large oval mother-of-pearl plaque.


History note: Formerly the property of Dr F.H.H. Guillemard (1852-1933)

Legal notes

Given by A.F. Schofield

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1938-02-08) by Schofield, A. F.


18th Century, Early#
After 1700 CE - 1740 CE


The intaglio is possibly based on the the engraving by Robert Edelinck, which is after the painting of 1660 by Charles Lebrun 'La Reine de Perses aux Pieds d'Alexandre'. However, it is in reverse to both the engraving and painting and has been simplified.

The silver does not bear a maker's mark

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Base composed of mother-of-pearl
Stone composed of bloodstone
Box composed of silver
Box And Lid Height 2.4 cm Length 6.4 cm Width 4.3 cm
Bloodstone Length 2.1 cm Width 1.8 cm
Borders, Etc.
Lid And Sides

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-1938
Primary reference Number: 150725
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 6 January 2014 Last processed: Wednesday 7 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Snuff box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 09:01:45

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{{cite web|url= |title=Snuff box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-16 09:01:45|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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