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A rare William III Tortoiseshell Pique Snuff Box, made most probably in London circa 1695.


The Snuff Box is of oval form, with silver sides and mounts and a stand away hinge. The base is inset with a plain tortoise shell panel and the cover displays a most unusual panel decorated with silver inlay depicting an exotic bird and insect, flying around a trailing vine and grapes. This is the first time we have seen this very rare subject matter. Unusually, the interior of the box is also silver and gilded with a gold wash, which is a sign of the finest quality of production. Many of these boxes, have plain tortoiseshell interiors, not silver gilt.

Length: 3.25 inches, 8.13cm.

Width: 2.45 inches, 6.13cm.