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Snuffbox

  • Place of origin:

    Flanders (made)
    Brussels (engraved)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)
    ca. 1750 (engraved)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Heylbrouck, Norbert (engraver)
    Unknown (box maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved mother of pearl, gold, glazed miniature

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.392-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 4, shelf DU3

The engraver Norbert Heylbrouck specialised in making medals. He was sentenced to death in 1731 for making counterfeit coins, but was later granted a reprieve. On the cover Heylbrouck has engraved a scene of Justice choosing Minerva, and on the base, a naval battle. Inside the lid is a painting in oils, which is a copy of a battle scene painted by Georg Philipp Rugendas (1666-1742).

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

A circular, gold mounted mother of pearl snuffbox comprising eight panels of mother of pearl. The cover is engraved with Justice choosing Minerva, and the base with a naval battle. The interior of the lid is painted with a battle scene in oils under glass.

Place of Origin

Flanders (made)
Brussels (engraved)

Date

ca. 1750 (made)
ca. 1750 (engraved)

Artist/maker

Heylbrouck, Norbert (engraver)
Unknown (box maker)

Materials and Techniques

Engraved mother of pearl, gold, glazed miniature

Marks and inscriptions

Import mark, Belgium, 1831-1869
On the bezel

Engraved 'N. Heylbrouck Fecit'
On the cover

Dimensions

Diameter: 9.4 cm, Height: 3.2 cm

Object history note

Provenance: Sotheby's, Geneva, lot.27, May 6, 1881. S. J. Phillips, London.

Descriptive line

Snuffbox depicting Justice choosing Minerva. Mother-of-pearl, gold, glazed miniature. Engraving: Norbert Heylbrouk the Elder, Flanders, ca. 1750

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

Truman, Charles.The Gilbert collection of gold boxes, Vol. I. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1991, cat. no. 139, pp. 402-5. ISBN.0875871623

Labels and date

FLANDERS
2. Snuffbox with Justice choosing Minerva, about 1750

Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.392-2008 [16/11/2016]
Snuffbox with Justice choosing Minerva
About 1750

The engraver Norbert Heylbrouck specialised in making
medals. He was sentenced to death in 1731 for making
counterfeit coins, but was later granted a reprieve.
Minerva was the Roman goddess of justice. On the base
Heylbrouck has engraved a naval battle. The engraving
is complemented by a miniature oil painting inside the
lid, which is a copy of a battle scene painted by Georg
Philipp Rugendas (1666–1742).

Flanders (Belgium);
engraved by Norbert Heylbrouk the Elder (died 1762)
Engraved mother-of-pearl, gold and glazed miniature in oils
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.392-2008 [2009]

Production Note

The battle scene in the interior of the lid is after a painting by Georg
Philipp Rugendas (1666–1742).

Materials

Mother of pearl; Gold; Glass; Oil paint

Techniques

Painting; Engraving; Glazing

Subjects depicted

Cavalries; Battles; Horses; Gods, Roman; Victory; Sea battle; Sailing ships; Military event; Naval ships; Mythology

Categories

Metalwork; Containers; Personal accessories; Myths & Legends

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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