An extremely rare and unusual antique Russian steel small box for gambling chips completely covered with etched and polished decorations.
Length 2 1/16 in. (5,3 cm)
by the Tula Arms factory, circa 1780
The lid is etched with an Allegory of Fortune - winged and bare breasted female holding a crown, and four symbols of playing cards at the corners.
The reverse side of the lid is decorated with a double headed eagle seated on a military drum placed on top of a cannon. The eagle is holding a laurel wreath. All decorations of the reverse are highly polished.
The bottom of the box is etched with a pair of butterflies surrounded by stylized flowers. Butterflies were frequently used to decorate bottoms of small boxes in the late 18th century.
The sides with floral garlands and neo-classical columns.
There is a similar etched steel box for gambling chips in the Hermitage museum collection (St Petersburg, Russia)
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Antique and Vintage Jewelry, Russian Imperial Era Antiques, Pre-1917 Faberge
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