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An extremely rare George II Snuff Box made most probably in Scotland circa 1740.


The Snuff Box has a most unusual egg shaped form, with plain base and sides, decorated with a reeded band. The hinged cover is beautifully engraved with a contemporary Armorial, with the Motto The Lord is all our Trust below. The upper section and the Armorial is engraved with Rococo shell details and foliate scrolls. The hinge is finely concealed and the name Alex r Tait Crieff, is engraved above.

The Arms engraved on the box are those properly belonging to the Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London and the Motto is also theirs. The Edinburgh Masons, used a virtually identical Armorial.

The Arms on this box have been appropriated by a lodge of Freemasons, in this case the Lodge of Criefe, subsequently renamed Lodge of St. Michael. This was founded in 1737 and had no recognised place of meeting, so the members gathered in various places in the town such as Tolbooth, the chambers of David Thomson, writer, and the house of Alexander Tait. A permanent lodge was built in 1776, rebuilt in 1816 and is still in use today.The box is unmarked, however the engraving has a Scottish feel to it and may well have been made in Scotland. This is the first time we have seen this specific design and early masonic boxes are especially scarce today.

Length: 2.9 inches, 7.25cm.

Width: 1.75 inches, 4.38cm