View full screen - View 1 of Lot 309. A gold-mounted agate snuff box, probably Dresden, circa 1770.
309

A gold-mounted agate snuff box, probably Dresden, circa 1770

Estimate:

2,000

to
- 3,000 GBP

A gold-mounted agate snuff box, probably Dresden, circa 1770

A gold-mounted agate snuff box, probably Dresden, circa 1770

Estimate:

2,000

to
- 3,000 GBP

Lot sold:

6,930

GBP

A gold-mounted agate snuff box, probably Dresden, circa 1770


rectangular, the elegantly chased wavy gold mounts enclosing panels of boldly patterned silicified wood from Chemnitz, slightly protruding thumbpiece, the rim with a later engraved facsimile inscription reading: 18 July 1943 / XXI / Edwina from Dickie, the base with a secret compartment containing three flowers, probably made from goose feathers, on a silk background, apparently unmarked

6.2cm., 2 1/2 in. wide

A charming box in generally good order;

the back panel cracked and with chip of 3mm. width to top left corner, one side panel with two hairline cracks, small natural flaw; the base panel possibly a replacement; the feathers of the left leaf of the central flower in base in slight disarray


"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 inscription records that this box was the 21st wedding anniversary gift from, the then, Vice-Admiral of the Fleet Lord Louis 'Dickie' Mountbatten to his wife, Edwina.

Near the anniversary that this box commemorates, Lord Louis was on active service. On the morning of the 11 July, the second day of the Allied invasion of Sicily ('Operation Husky'), he was welcomed aboard one of the fleet's destroyers, as Chief of Combined Operations. He was back in London several days later in time to attend a dinner at Claridges Hotel on 20 July (presumably when he gave this gift to his wife), the dinner was hosted by Sir James Grigg, Secretary of State for War. The guest of honour was General Henri Giraud, co-president of the French Committee of National Liberation and Commander-in-Chief of the French forces in North and West Africa. On the 24th, Lord and Lady Mountbatten were among the mourners at St. Michael's, Chester Square at the funeral of Lady Elizabeth Pound, wife of Sir Dudley Pound, Admiral of the Fleet. During this period of the War, Lady Louis was dividing her time between various engagements, including those as Superintendent-in-Chief of the Nursing Division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, a post to which she had been appointed in 1942.