Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (city) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1780 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Colas, Pierre Michel (box maker)
    Schindler, Philipp Ernst II (enameller)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chased varicoloured-gold and enamel

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 4, shelf 2

Painted enamel scenes taken from designs or paintings by David Teniers the Younger or François Boucher were a popular form of decoration for gold boxes. In the 1760s Schindler decorated several boxes and at least one étui with subjects after Teniers. His later enamels, of which this is an example, were often executed 'en grisaille', to resemble a cameo, and sometimes had their source in paintings by Boucher.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

An oval, varicoloured-gold and enamel snuffbox, the cover, walls and base painted with six reserves of grisaille figures, framed in gold.

Place of Origin

Vienna (city) (made)


ca. 1780 (made)


Colas, Pierre Michel (box maker)
Schindler, Philipp Ernst II (enameller)

Materials and Techniques

Chased varicoloured-gold and enamel

Marks and inscriptions

Mark of Pierre Michel Colas
In the lid and in the base

Town mark of Vienna
In the lid and in the base

Signed 'Schindler'
On the front reserve


Length: 6.9 cm, Width: 5.1 cm, Height: 3.8 cm

Object history note

Provenance: S. J. Phillips, London.

Le Grand Frisson Exhibition RF.2005/788

Descriptive line

Varicoloured-gold and enamel snuffbox; box: Pierre Michel Colas, Vienna, ca.1780; enamels: Philipp Ernst Schindler II, Vienna, ca.1780

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Norton, Richard and Martin. A History of gold snuff boxes, London: Messrs. S. J. Phillips, 1938, pl. 39A.
Truman, Charles.The Gilbert collection of gold boxes, Vol. I. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1991, cat. no. 136, pp. 393-5. ISBN.0875871623
Zech, Heike. Gold Boxes. Masterpieces from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection. London: V&A Publishing, 2015, pp. 98-99, no. 33. ISBN 987-1-85177-840-9

Labels and date

Snuffbox with Venus, Mars and Cupid
About 1780

Vienna, Austria; Pierre Michel Colas (active 1763–81),
enamelled by Philipp Ernst Schindler II (1723–93)
Enamelled gold
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.364-2008 [2009]


Gold; Enamel


Enamelling; Chasing

Subjects depicted

Pilasters; Swags; Putti; Laurel; Flowers; Altar


Metalwork; Containers; Personal accessories; Enamels


Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.