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  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    1820 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lefebvre, Jean-Louis (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chased gold, carved tortoiseshell, enamel and mosaic

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.484:1, 2-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 2, shelf DU2 []

This object is an example of a Parisian snuffbox set with popular Italian micromosaics. The view is of the ruins of a temple at Paestum in Italy, an ancient city founded around 600BC by the Greeks. Scenes such as these were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries as mementos of the sites many visted on the 'Grand Tour' of Italy.

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

Rectangular tortoiseshell snuffbox with gold mounts, blue enamel and mosaic cover showing the ruins of Paestum.

Place of Origin

Rome (made)


1820 (made)


Lefebvre, Jean-Louis (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Chased gold, carved tortoiseshell, enamel and mosaic


Width: 6.1 cm, Length: 8.3 cm, Height: 2.5 cm, :

Object history note

Provenance: S. J. Phillips, Ltd., London.

Descriptive line

Chased gold, carved tortoiseshell, enamel and micromosaic snuffbox, Rome, ca.1820, Jean Louis Lefebvre

Labels and date

2. Box with ruins at Paestum and case, 1809–19

Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.484:1, 2-2008 [16/11/2016]


Tortoiseshell; Gold; Enamel; Mosaic glass; Material


Chasing; Carving; Enamelling; Micromosaic; Technique


Metalwork Collection

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