The wishlist name can't be left blank

THE MAZEPPA BOX - A very rare and exceptional William IV Silver Gilt Table Snuff Box made in Birmingham in 1833 by Nathaniel Mills.


This is without doubt one of the finest Snuff Boxes which we have offered over the years. This example is silver gilt and broad rectangular in form. The sides and base are engraved with engine turning and the centre of the base displays a vacant raised cartouche. The cover displays a very crisp scene, in high relief, which tells the story of Mazeppa.

Mazeppa is a narrative poem written by the English romantic poet, Lord Byron, in 1819. It is based on a popular legend about the early life of Ivan Mazeppa (1639-1709), a Ukranian gentleman who later became Hetman of the Ukranian Cossacks. According to the poem, the young Mazeppa has a love affair with a Countess Theresa while serving as a Page at the Court of King John II Casimir Vasa. Countess Theresa was married to a much older Count. On discovering the affair, the Count punishes Mazeppa by tying him naked to a wild horse and setting the horse loose. The bulk of the poem describes the traumatic journey of the hero strapped to the horse. The poem has been praised for its vigour of style and its sharp realization of the feelings of suffering and endurance. The poem also inspired Alexander Pushkin to write his poem Poltava, as an answer to Byrons poem.

The cover shows an outstanding casting of Mazeppa strapped to the wild horse racing through the forest, with wolves running and looking from the trees. The interior is very well marked and displays exceptional gilding. The quality of design and production is the finest that can be found, which is typical of the boxes which were made in the workshops of Nathaniel Mills. The box is contained within its original velvet lined leather box. Very few Mazeppa boxes are known to exist.

Length: 3.45 inches, 8.63cm.

Width: 2 inches, 5cm.

Depth: 0.75 inches, 1.88cm

Weight: 6oz.