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  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Schindler, Philipp Ernst II (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold, enamel, steel, ivory

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.335:1 to 7-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 4, shelf 1 []

The best of the Viennese tradition of gold box-making is shown in this superbly enamelled object, which forms part of a set. Catering for the necessities of elegant life, it comprises an étui or small case with a knife, snuff spoon, toothpick and ear pick, watch and châtelaine (from which the watch hung) and a matching snuffbox. Although the hanging châtelaine was produced at the same time as the watch, differences in the style of enamelling show that it was not made in Schindler's workshop.

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

Suite comprising snuffbox, etui, chatelaine and watch. The oval snuffbox is enamelled en plein with six opaque reserves of flowers painted against a mauve ground, bordered by wreaths of translucent green foliage and blue flowers, all over chased radiating lines and chevrons; a concealed hinge runs across the rear of the cover and the box has a flaring thumbpiece. The etui is of flattened oval section, enamelled en plein with four reserves of fruit, flowers and exotic birds within similar wreaths of translucent green and blue; it contains a knife with one gold and one steel blade, a snuff spoon, a toothpick, an earpick, a propelling pencil, scissors and ivory tablets. The chatelaine is formed as a spray of flowers enamelled in opaque colours with translucent green foliage and tied with translucent blue ribbon in three hinged sections from which hangs a watch painted en suite. Its white enamel dial has Roman hours and Arabic minutes and blued steel hands.

Place of Origin

Vienna (made)


ca. 1760 (made)


Schindler, Philipp Ernst II (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gold, enamel, steel, ivory

Marks and inscriptions

No marks


Length: 10.3 cm, Width: 4.3 cm, Height: 1.5 cm

Object history note

Provenance: S.J. Phillips, London.

Descriptive line

Gold, enamel, steel and ivory etui, Vienna, ca.1760, made by Phillipp Ernst Schindler

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

Truman, Charles.The Gilbert collection of gold boxes, volume II, London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 1999, cat. no. 57, pp. 91-2. ISBN.0856675210

Labels and date

1. Snuffbox, châtelaine, watch and
étui (case)
About 1760

Although this châtelaine (watch chain) was produced at the same time as the watch, differences in the style of enamelling suggests that it was made in another workshop. The original case for this set is shown in the top drawer under this display.

Vienna, Austria; enamelled by Philipp Ernst Schindler II (1723–93)
Watch: signed ‘Le Roy’, Paris
Gold, gilded copper, enamel, mother-of-pearl, steel and ivory
Museum nos. Loan:Gilbert.334:1; 335:1 to 7; 336-2008 [16/11/2016]

Production Note

Different museum number in catalogue: 1996.1047


Gold; Enamel; Steel; Ivory


Chasing; Enamelling

Subjects depicted

Chevrons; Birds; Flowers (plants); Foliage; Fruit


Jewellery; Metalwork; Personal accessories


Metalwork Collection

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