Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mastery of Design: A Gold and Diamond Snuffbox given by Queen Victoria, 1837

Gold, Diamonds, Enamel
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Upon her accession to the throne, Queen Victoria made many gifts to those who had served her mother and herself while they lived in Kensington Palace. An inscription on this magnificent snuffbox of gold, diamonds and enamel records that it was given to Colonel Harcourt in 1837, “in recognition of services rendered to Queen Victoria while she resided at Kensington Palace.”

As Princess Victoria, the future long-reigning Queen lived at Kensington with her domineering mother, the Duchess of Kent. Colonel Harcourt was their equerry. The box was made in Hanau for Storr & Mortimer Goldsmiths in London, by whom it was sold to Queen Victoria. The snuffbox retains its original leather case which bears the Queen’s cipher.

The reverse of the snuffbox, while not jeweled, is equally elaborate—adorned with gold and enamel flowers. Clearly the Colonel cherished the box for it shows no evident signs of wear.

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