Snuffbox thumbnail 1
Snuffbox thumbnail 2
+3
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries

Snuffbox

ca.1765 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Saxony was rich in minerals and hardstones, leading to a blossoming of lapidary (polished stone) work. The city of Dresden was home to a treasury which was later extended by Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony and King of Poland (ruled 1694-1733). This famous Green Vault (as it was known) encouraged the production of luxury objects. Chimneysweeps, such as the one depicted on this box, were widely considered a symbol of good luck.

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold, quartzite, agate and hardstones
Brief Description
Snuffbox, gold with mounted hardstones, probably Dresden, ca.1765
Physical Description
Oval quartzite snuffbox, the cover inlaid with an oval reserve of banded agate enclosing an image of a chimney-sweep in various hardstones, holding a ladder and a brush, standing on grass against a trellis of red stone, heigthened with colour. Each enclosed lozenge of quartzite has bevelled edges and is bordered by a frieze of banded agate; the walls and base have similar trellis and border decoration, mounted in gold chased with an osier pattern, and the box has a flaring floral thumbpiece.
Dimensions
  • Length: 7.7cm
  • Width: 6.1cm
  • Height: 1.6cm
Marks and Inscriptions
No marks
Gallery Label
  • 3. Snuffbox with chimney sweep, about 1765 Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.418-2008(16/11/2016)
  • Snuffbox with chimneysweep About 1765 The chimneysweep was widely considered a symbol of good luck. Probably Dresden, Germany Gold, quartzite, agate and hardstones Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.418-2008(2009)
Credit line
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Object history
Provenance: Wartski, London.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Saxony was rich in minerals and hardstones, leading to a blossoming of lapidary (polished stone) work. The city of Dresden was home to a treasury which was later extended by Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony and King of Poland (ruled 1694-1733). This famous Green Vault (as it was known) encouraged the production of luxury objects. Chimneysweeps, such as the one depicted on this box, were widely considered a symbol of good luck.



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.
Bibliographic Reference
Truman, Charles.The Gilbert collection of gold boxes, volume II, London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 1999, cat. no. 19, pp. 38. ISBN.0856675210
Other Numbers
  • GB 224 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • 1999.15 - The Gilbert Collection, Somerset House
  • MIN 73 - Arthur Gilbert Number
Collection
Accession Number
LOAN:GILBERT.418-2008

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 19, 2008
Record URL