A JEWELLED TWO-COLOUR GOLD AND ENAMEL PRESENTATION SNUFF BOX, CHARLES COLINS & SÖHNE, HANAU, CIRCA 1894
of rectangular form with wavy sides, the lid centred with a diamond-set cipher below a grand-ducal, ducal or princely crown on translucent blue enamel over wavy engine-turning, within a cut-steel border and chased frame, surrounded by 6 applied rosettes and chased flowers within C-scrolls on a sablé ground, the sides and base engraved with strapwork on a leafy ground, maker's mark, struck: 14, the left rim numbered: 2093, in original silk-lined leather case, with document
10cm., 4 in. wide
Very good condition, would benefit from light cleaning.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The box is accompanied by a passport printed with the coat of arms of the House of Orange-Nassau (The Netherlands), permitting Cornelis Jan Kalis of Sliederecht on 8 October 1894 to enter Russia and remain there for one year, signed by Joan Röell, Minister of Foreign Affairs to Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands (reigned 1890-1948), Princess of Orange-Nassau.
The recipient of the box, Cornelis Jan Kalis, was born in Sliedrecht on 30 November 1853 and died in The Hague on 2 January 1918. He was a son of Jan Kalis (1825-1882) and his wife Maggeltje (née Seret, 1826-1878). He was married at Sliedrecht on 6 December 1877 to Korstiana Maria Hartog (1853-?) and - according to the enclosed document - left for Russia in 1894 in his function as an 'entrepreneur du travaux publiques'. It is probable that he received this presentation box during his time in Russia, in which case one would assume that the initials are 'PA' in Cyrillic below a ducal, grand-ducal or princely crown, such as those of Grand-Duke Alexandrovich of Russia (1860 – 1919). They are, however, equally decipherable as 'FM' or 'MF' in Latin, a combination of letters which would point towards an European recipient.