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Snuff box

Snuff box

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Strachan, Alexander James

  • Materials and Techniques:

    gold and engine-turned

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Sir John Gielgud

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Rectangular 18 carat gold snuff box with engine-turned gold pattern on the lid, base and sides, and smooth rounded finish around the top and bottom edges and waisted shape. The lid is fitted to the base with a 9-section joint. An engraved inscription on the inner surface of the lid records its presentation by the actor-manager Benjamin Webster to his friend William Carter, 30 November 1841.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca.1830 (made)


Strachan, Alexander James

Materials and Techniques

gold and engine-turned

Marks and inscriptions

"Presented by BENJAMIN WEBSTER to the Best & Truest Friend of his Life WILLIAM CARTER 30 Nov 1841"
Inscription; decoration; Lower case italics, and upper case.; On inner surface of the lid.; engraved; 1841

AJS (maker's mark) Leopard's head. Crown.


Length: 6.6 cm, Width: 4 cm, Depth: 1.5 cm

Object history note

The gold snuff box was bequeathed to The Theatre Museum by Sir John Gielgud (1904-2000) and a note from his executors on the bequest receipt says that it was given to him by the grand-daughter of the actor-manager Benjamin Webster (1797-1882).

Descriptive line

Gold snuff box made by Alexander Strachan, ca.1830, owned by Sir John Gielgud (1904-2000) but originally presented by the actor-manager Benjamin Webster (1797-1882) to his friend William Carter.

Production Note

Leopard's head hallmark denotes London assay office.

Attribution note: This would have been a hand-made object from the goldsmith's workshop.






Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre; Metalwork

Production Type



Theatre and Performance Collection

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