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Gold snuff box

Decorative art

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Object ID PLT0061
Description Snuff box presented to Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy (1769-1839) by Ferdinand IV, King of Naples (1751-1825) following the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Oval four colour gold snuff box, the lid set with an oval glazed miniature of Ferdinand IV painted in colours wearing an ermine-trimmed red robe over armour. The miniature is now surrounded by a plaited frame of hair. The base of the box is chased with an urn of flowers and musical instruments, within an oval with swags, and there is similar decoration in oval panels around the sides. It has an unidentified hallmark of a crowned fleur de lys. The box is contained in a later silk-covered oriental box (PLT0061.1) The box was bequeathed to the Earl of Cawdor by his maternal grandmother Mrs John Thynne, a granddaughter of Sir Thomas Hardy. Tradition has it that the miniature was originally surrounded by diamonds, and it is said that they were removed and made into a necklace by Lady Hardy. The origin of the plaited hair is not known.
Date made Late 18th century

Place made Naples, Napoli Province, Campania, Italy; Sicily, Italy
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials gold
Measurements Overall: 37 mm x 80 mm x 57 mm
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