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  • Place of origin:

    Amsterdam (made)

  • Date:

    1739 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Métayer, Louis (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chased gold

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Louis Métayer was one of the many goldsmiths from families who left France after the revocation of the Edit of Nantes in 1685. The Edict had provided religious tolerance for Huguenots (Protestants) living in Catholic France. Métayer and his family moved to Amsterdam, where he established himself as a goldsmith and became a citizen in 1730.

This box is chased with a scene from the Old Testament, of Rebecca at the well. Rebecca offers water to Abraham's servant and his camels. She is subsequently chosen to be the bride of Abraham's son, Isaac. The chasing may be by Louis Métayer's brother, Philippe, a leading chaser.

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 cartouche shaped gold snuffbox, the cover set with a plaque chased with a scene of Rebecca at the Well bordered by scrolls

Place of Origin

Amsterdam (made)


1739 (made)


Métayer, Louis (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Chased gold

Marks and inscriptions

Mark of Louis Métayer, script 'M' within script 'L, goldsmith registered in Amsterdam, 1730-1774
In the front wall

Town mark of Amsterdam until 1807
In the front wall

Date letter 'E' for 1739, Netherlands
In the front wall

Control mark, Netherlands


Length: 5.8 cm, Width: 4.5 cm, Height: 1.9 cm

Object history note

Provenance: Kenneth Davis, London.

Descriptive line

A cartouche shaped gold snuffbox, the cover set with a plaque chased with a scene of Rebecca at the Well bordered by scrolls

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. 138, pp. 400-1. ISBN.0875871623

Labels and date

Snuffbox with Rebecca at the well

In the Bible, Rebecca offers water to Abraham’s
servant and his camels. She is chosen to be the bride
of Abraham’s son, Isaac.

Amsterdam, Netherlands;
mark of Louis Métayer (active 1730–74),
possibly chased by Philippe Métayer (1697–1763)
Chased gold
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.322-2008 [2009]




Chasing; Moulding

Subjects depicted

Religion (concept)


Metalwork; Personal accessories; Containers


Metalwork Collection

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