snuff box

snuff box


A rectangular snuff box with straight sides, a deep chased mount with a pierced handle and a hinged lid. Enamel on metal and painted on the lid and sides with panels of fruit in a tightly modelled style in imitation of Dutch painting with a broad, blue, wavy border, dotted with white and edged inside with a yellow line and outside with crude white scrolls. The heliotrope/lavender ground has trellis and dot ornament with a small heliotrope panel within a raised scroll. A white bottom.

Display Label

Gallery text panel Harold Raby Collection Harold Raby was charmed by English enamels finding them 'dainty and pretty, quaint and curious'. As a boy, he inherited a tiny, battered enamel box which inspired him to collect over 400 more items during the first half of the 20th century. These enamels were mainly made in Staffordshire and were fashionable from about 1750 to 1820. For Raby, they evoked a lost age of elegance and gave an insight into outmoded social customs. A local bank manager, Raby only had moderate means but he tried to buy examples of every type of object produced by the short-lived English enamel industry. He acquired boxes for face patches, snuff and tobacco, candlesticks, perfume bottles, tea caddies....... He even risked air raids to attend sales in London. Eventually, boxes outnumbered every other item and gave his collection an obsessive quality.

Object Name

snuff box


Object: 4.2cm x 8.2cm

accession number


Place of creation

South Staffordshire



Harold Raby bequest


© Manchester Art Gallery

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