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Snuff box: MAR.M.285-1912

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Goldsmith: Vachette, Adrien-Jean-Maximilian




Tortoise shell box lined with gold; the lid and base inlaid with mother-of-pearl and gold piqué point

Tortoise shell inlaid with gold piqué point and mother-of-pearl and lined with gold. Rectangular with straight sides and hinged almost flat lid with oval button thumbpiece. The lid and recessed base have a border of yellow gold embossed with a guilloche pattern on a red gold ground. The lid is decorated with an openwork basket containing flowers and leaves; it stands on a plinth, either side of which are flying insects. The ground is spotted and the corners are chequered. The base is decorated with a two-handled vase containing exotic flowers; it stands on a plinth between a squirrel and exotic bird and two flying insects.


History note: Not known before testator

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 3.0 cm
Length: 8.0 cm
Width: 5.9 cm

Relative size of this object

8 cm3 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.

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912-06-18) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


Late 18th century
Production date: AD 1785

School or Style


Components of the work

Box composed of tortoise shell
Decoration composed of mother-of-pearl gold
Lining composed of gold

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.M.285-1912
Primary reference Number: 150744
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 20 September 2012 Last processed: Friday 21 May 2021

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 (2023) "Snuff box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-31 12:03:43

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Snuff box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-05-31 12:03:43|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

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<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Snuff box"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Snuff box</figcaption>

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