A rare English enamel Snuff Box with gilt-metal mounts, London, circa 1760-65

This rare blue enamel snuff box is moulded with an unusual diaper-pattern resembling engine-turned decoration. The domed cover and gently waisted base are finely painted with floral sprigs and bouquets. The underside of the base also bears a single sprig. Inside the box, the hinged cover is painted with a colourful bouquet and scattered sprays of flowers on a white enamel ground.

This object belongs to a desirable group of enamel snuff boxes, each with moulded decoration and painted with flowers on a single colour ground, usually white, green or yellow. They were produced in London during the middle part of the 18th century.

Condition: There are three small chips to the enamel on the base, close to the gilt-metal mount, resulting in a few fine cracks. There is a tiny shallow chip to the white enamel on the underside of the cover. The hinged mechanism with thumb piece works well and the cover opens and closes neatly. No restoration.

Dimensions: Diameter (at widest point) 6.2 cm; Diameter (at base) 4.9 cm; Height (to top of domed cover) 4.5 cm

Ref. See Bonhams, Fine British Pottery, Porcelain and Glass, London, November 13, 2013, lot 160, for two diaper-moulded snuff boxes, including a very similar example. Also Bonhams, Fine British Pottery and Porcelain, London, September 8, 2010, lot 59.

English Painted Enamels, Therle and Bernard Hughes (Country Life, 1951).

English Porcelain and Enamels 1743-1775, Simon Spero (exhibition catalogue, 2009).

English Enamel Boxes, Susan Benjamin (Macdonald Orbis, 1988).