Friday, 17 June 2016
This week's 'Mystery Objects' are shown in the four photographs here. They are snuff boxes in the shape of shoes, made in brass and copper. 'Shoe' snuff boxes are not in the least unusual; they are, in fact the most common of 'form snuff boxes'. These are unusual in being a bit bigger than most, being around five inches long. I think they are probably table top snuffs as opposed to pocket snuff boxes.
Here (above) they are shown with the lids open.
Above they are shown with the lids closed, so that the devices on the lids can be seen. The shoe on the left shows a 'crest' like device of a hand holding a dagger. The top man on the right box appears to be a cricketer (batsman). Whilst I'm not sure of the one below, Ann thinks it shows a fielder taking a low catch off the batsman, and looking at it, I think she may well be right (?)
They are, I think, English. They are not a pair (slight differences in the size, and decoration).
The question is when were they made, to celebrate which event, and what the decoration is intended to mean?
Any serious answer would be appreciated and would add to my knowledge about this interesting pair (sorry - couple) of boxes. To help the matter, in my opinion (founded on the style of the boxes, and their decoration) I would guess that they were made in the same workshop around the dates 1840 to 1860.
Over to you.
Thanks- any suggestions gratefully received.
Regards, Mike and Ann.