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Snuff box: M.2 & A-1953

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Circular tortoise shell box inlaid with gold and silver piqué work and mother-of-pearl armorials and military emblems

Tortoise shell inlaid with red and yellow gold and silver piqué work and mother-of-pearl armorials and military emblems. Circular with straight sides and moulded borders. The top of the flat pull-off lid is decorated with the crown and coat-of-arms of the Queen of Portugal above trophies of war, including standards, armour and drums, surrounded by swags and scrolling foliage. The moulded borders are inlaid with gold to resemble a rope edge.


History note: Said to be a present from the Queen to Dr Willis (a forbear of the donor), who attended her when suffering from a mental disease; lost from the family, seen and bought at Christies by Mr Besant.

Legal notes

Given by Mrs M. Besant

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1953-04-23) by Besant, M.


Last quarter of 18th century
After 1777 CE - Circa 1800 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Box composed of tortoise shell
Inlay composed of mother-of-pearl gold silver
Box And Lid Diameter 7.8 cm Height 2.5 cm
Piqué Work
Tortoise Shell

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.2 & A-1953
Primary reference Number: 150752
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 24 October 2012 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 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: 2023-01-30 16:02:31

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Snuff box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-30 16:02:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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