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The Lockwood Armorial Snuff Box. A very rare & important George I Gold Snuff Box made in London circa 1720.


The Snuff Box is oval in form and the hinged cover is very finely engraved with a contemporary Armorial, within an oval cartouche, with Crest above. The Arms are surrounded by pluming scrolls, scale work and floral garlands. The engraving also depicts roaring lion supporters, cherubs in flight and a very detailed satyr mask. The interior, unusually, has an additional lid, creating a secret compartment below and the sides are decorated with raised reeded bands. The box is in quite exceptional condition.

The Arms are those of Lockwood quartering Cutts for Richard Lockwood M.P. (1672-1756 ), of Dews Hall, near Maldon, Essex. Richard Lockwood of Dews Hall, near Maldon, Essex, was a British merchant and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1713 and 1741. He was educated at Westminster School in 1684. He became a wealthy merchant in the Turkish trade, and succeeded his father in 1697. In 1711 he became an Assistant in the Levant Company and was also given an office as Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. By 1713 he had married Matilda Vernon, daughter of George Vernon of Sudbury, Derbyshire..

At the 1713 general election, Lockwood was returned as Member of Parliament for Hindon. He lost his seat in the 1715 election and unsuccessfully stood for Worcester. At the 1722 election he topped the poll for the City of London. He was returned as M.P. for Worcester at the 1734 General election and sat again as a Tory in the 1734 Parliament. In 1735 he bought the estate of Dews Hall in Essex. He did not seek re-election at the 1741 general election and retired to Dews Hall. He enlarged and re-fronted the old brick building in the Classical style. A drawing of Dews Hall by J.P. Neale, engraved by T. Barber, is shown. Lockwood died on 30th August, 1756, aged 80, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard.

During the late 17th, and the first half of the 18th century, gold snuff boxes of great distinction were produced in England. Gold Boxes inset with stone panels, more often than not agate, were very popular from the reign of Queen Anne. These boxes were exempt from compulsory hallmarking until 1798 and the gold standard demanded up to this date was 22 carat. French influence was strong during this period and the Rococo was not to be resisted in design. With the accumulation of wealth during this period, the Snuff Box, made of gold and semi-precious stones, became a symbol of wealth and status and the building up of collections was encouaged.


Purchased from Garrard's, The Crown Jewellers, in 1985.

Length: 3.1 inches: 7.75cm.
Width: 2.2 inches, 5.5cm.
Height: 0.6 inches, 1.5cm.
Weight: 4oz.