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A lady at her dressing table: M.58-1984

An image of Snuff box

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Object information


A lady at her dressing table
Translated as: oval, tortoise shell box inlaid with gold piqué point work flowers; the interior painted with a vignette of a lady seated before her dressing table


Unknown (Maker)


Tortoise shell with chased gilt metal mounts, inlaid gold piqué point work and a painted polychrome vignette in bodycolour, probably on card, under glass. Oval with straight sides with projecting edges and a projecting hinge. The top of the lid is decorated with a flowering tree, rocks, plants and a dragonfly. The base is decorated with a simpler image of a plant, cloud and dragonfly. The interior of the lid is painted with a lady seated before her dressing table and mirror; she reads a letter whilst attended by a black servant bringing chocolate or coffee. The thumbpiece and mount of the lid are chased with stylized foliage and flower heads.


History note: Not known before donor

Legal notes

Given by Dr & Mrs J.C. Burkill

Measurements and weight

Height: 1.6 cm
Length: 8 cm
Width: 6.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1984-07-23) by Burkill, J. C., Dr & Mrs


Mid 18th Century
1730 CE - 1760 CE

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Painting: composed of bodycolour glass Box: composed of tortoise shell Mounts: composed of metal Piqué Work: composed of gold Surface Of Mounts: composed of gold Gold Piqué:

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.58-1984
Primary reference Number: 150635
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 7 June 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 8 June 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Snuff box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-07-28 23:57:50

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=|title=Snuff box|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-07-28 23:57:50|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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