Lot 50
  • 50

A jewelled gold and enamel Imperial presentation snuff box

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  • width 8cm, 3 1/8 in, in original crimson plush case applied in engraved gilt-metal with the Imperial cipher, the interior stamped for: H.J. Wilm/ Königl. Hof-Juwelier/ Berlin
maker's mark AS or SA in monogram, further struck with post 1884 German Imperial crown mark and: 585, numbered on left rim: 3764, circa 1900

of shaped oval form, the lid applied with the rose diamond-set crowned cipher of Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia, between two larger collet-set diamonds, the frames picked out in dark blue enamel, the ground inlaid overall with scrolling foliage


Presented by Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia, to  Sir Robert Follett Synge, K.C.M.G. (1853-1920);
thence by descent

Son of the author and diplomat William Webb Follett Synge (1826-1891), Sir Robert was a distinguished Foreign Office representative who was responsible for welcoming and making arrangements for foreign royalty at the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901 and at the delayed Coronation of Edward VII in 1902. In the course of his duties, Sir Robert received a number of gifts in appreciation of his services from foreign crowned heads, including the present diamond-encrusted snuff box.

Catalogue Note

For an extremely similar diamond-set Wilhelm II presentation snuff box, struck with the same unknown maker's mark and numbered with the previous number: 3763, see Sotheby's Geneva, 17 November 1979, lot 121.

Hermann Julius Wilm (1812-1907) was born in Hamburg and trained between 1826 and 1830 with his uncle, the  Berlin Court jeweller and goldsmith, Heinrich Wilhelm Ludwig Wilm, junior.  On his uncle's death in 1836, he became Bürger, taking over the firm and becoming Court Jeweller in his turn.