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Snuff box: M.2 & A-1977

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Goldsmith: Blerzy, Joseph-Etienne (Probably)




Gold, enamel, diamonds and opals; oval box with straight sides; the lid enamelled in dark blue and studded with diamonds within a gold and enamelled border

Gold, enamel, diamonds and opals; oval with straight sides, the lid with projecting hinge. The centre of the lid is enamelled in a translucent royal blue over radiating lines of engine turned engraving. Inlaid into the enamel is a hexagonal pattern of yellow gold trefoils and red gold dots. In the centre of each hexagon is set a small diamond. Outside the blue enamelled plaque is a chased gold border comprising a band of white enamelled dots and a band of green enamelled leaves. Set on the leaves are twelve small diamonds; a pair at the front, back and each side, and one between. The recessed base is decorated similarly to the lid, but instead of diamonds in the central panel each hexagon contains a green enamelled quatrefoil, and instead of diamonds on the border of leaves are pairs (one large and one small) of opals (or beads of opalescent glass) and small saphire (or blue enamel) quatrefoils. The sides have four similar blue enamelled panels between borders and pillars of leaves, small opals and blue quatrefoils. With original fitted case (A). (Eight small opals or beads of opalescent glass are missing.)


History note: Given by Mr. Henry Hope to the mother of H. Ph. Hope in 1791(reputedly)

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Mrs. Irene Law, 1977

Measurements and weight

Height: 2.3 cm
Length: 7 cm
Width: 5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1977) by Law, Irene, Mrs


18th Century, Late
Louis XVI
1782 CE - 1789 CE


Joseph -Etienne Blerzy flourished from 1768 to circa 1806

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of diamond opal enamel gold
Box composed of gold

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: 'IE' over 'B' with a triangular device between the 'I' and 'E' and two mullets and a crossed device over them

  • Location: Inside the lid and base
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Maker's mark

Inscription present: two interlaced 'L's

  • Location: Inside the lid and base
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Charge mark

Inscription present: illegible

  • Location: Inside the lid and base
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Discharge mark
  • Text: This Snuffbox was / given to my Mother by / Mr Henry Hope (who was then / not the head of the house of Hope / at Amsterdam) on his return / from Paris in the year 1781 / H. Ph. Hope
  • Location: Loose inside the box
  • Method of creation: Written in black ink
  • Type: Paper label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.2 & A-1977
Primary reference Number: 77264
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 30 October 2012 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Snuff box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 16:02:00

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{{cite web|url= |title=Snuff box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-23 16:02:00|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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