M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS

 

 

GEORGE I SILVER-MOUNTED OVAL TORTOISESHELL SNUFF BOX

Unmarked, c1720 / "Arlecchino"

 

 

The oval box with silver sides and stand away silver hinge,
having a tortoiseshell cover and base,
the cover inlaid with silver pique, mother of pearl, gilt metal and copper,
featuring "Arlecchino", the Harlequin character from "Commedia dell' Arte",
within a silver oval, wearing a plumed hat and engraved copper vest,
and standing on a mound with flowers playing a lute.

 

(The face, sleeves, club and one hat feather are made of silver.

The hat, trousers and flowers are made of mother of pearl, the lute a yellow mother of pearl.

The vest, shoes and rocky base are of copper.

All reflect different colors under various lights.)

 

The usual role of Arlecchino is that of a faithful valet or servant,
in addition to providing comic relief as a clown and acrobat.
Here he plays the lute, and is likely in pursuit of a pretty lady .

The use of this character in the "Commedia dell' Arte" has been traced back to as early as 1593.

 

Provenance / Literature :

British Silver Boxes 1640-1840, The Lion Collection, John Culme.
The harlequin being featured first on p. 22 as the illustration for
"The Collection"; and again as Coll. no. 107. p. 113

 

Condition : Excellent with all pique and shell intact;
some minor denting and small losses to the rolled silver mount edges;
the edge of the shell with some slight abrasion

 

Note : These boxes are quite rare.
Two Arlecchino boxes are included in The Albert Collection, one carrying a club (Coll. no. 147.p. 32)
and as Columbine, also carrying a club (Coll. no. 351. p. 33)

 

SOLD

 

#7471

 

 Please Inquire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"British Silver Boxes 1640-1840, The Lion Collection", John Culme (2015), Coll. no. 107. p. 113

 

 
  "British Silver Boxes 1640-1840 : The Lion Collection" Collection Illustraton  
 

 

"British Silver Boxes 1640-1840, The Lion Collection", John Culme.

as the illustration for "The Collection, p. 22

 

 

 

 

 


 

Also See :

 

Three Fine Shell Snuff Boxes with Literature

 

"Three Fine Shell Snuff Boxes, c1720-45, Each With Literature"

 

 

 

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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581 South Perkins Road /  Memphis, TN 38117 / USA /  Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment

 


 

 

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Rare George II Silver-Mounted Tortoiseshell Snuff Box, Harlequin, c1720 

 

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