A stunning quality snuff box from the George III period, circa 1800 to 1820. The hand painted portrait to the lid is exceptional. This wonderful papier mache snuff box would either have been produced in the Birmingham area of England or in Germany (the two top portrait snuff producers of this George III period). There is not the iron red script to the underside of the lid to denote a Stobwasser manufacture but the quality is certainly on par with their output.
We believe that the portrait depicts Mary of Egypt. We see classical maiden wearing a laurel leaf garland. She is scantily clad, with a fur mantel draped over her right shoulder. In order to enter the church at Jerusalem Mary of Egypt needed to repent her previous sinful Harlot living and exiled herself to the desert wilderness to live as a hermit in self denial. She took only three loaves of bread as sustenance and lived for 47 years in exile. Before she died she met Saint Zosima to whom she told her life story, he gave her his fur mantle to wear. She received communion from him and then she passed away immediately after the meeting. Saint Zosima burying her with the aide of a helpful Lion.
Size: 3.5" (9 cm) diameter by 0.75" (2 cm) tall
Condition: Good and sound. Closes firmly by twisting. An area of old, touched up damage to her forehead. two minor chips to the base -seen in images.
A super addition to any snuff box collection.
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Rare Georgian Papier Mache Snuff Box Superb Hand Painted Lady, Mary of Egypt, Circa 1810
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