Description & Technical information

A striking feature of this oval snuffbox is the gold-highlighted rocaille and floral relief that provides a surround for the cartouche-like pictorial reserves. Painted in the latter are finely executed landscapes with staffage figures, that is to say, slim figures drawn with few lines and little use of colour; the scenes are set in expansive idealized landscapes with picturesque architectural elements seen in the background against cloudy skies clearly coloured in blue, purple and a delicate yellow. While the elaborately designed lid shows the erection of a gallows being observed by a number of curious onlookers, the inside of the lid is not decorated in colour but, by contrast with the customary tradition, entirely gilded.

Date:  1765
Period:  1750-1850, 18th century
Origin:  Germany
Medium: Contemporary metal mount
Dimensions: 4.6 x 5.6 x 7.6 cm (1³/₄ x 2¹/₄ x 3 inches)
Categories: Jewellery