Gilt Brass Nelson Snuff Box, circa 1805
Gilt Brass Nelson Snuff Box, circa 1805
Gilt Brass Nelson Snuff Box, circa 1805
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Gilt Brass Nelson Snuff Box, circa 1805

Gilt Brass Nelson Snuff Box, circa 1805

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Diameter: 5.3cm (2.1in)

Of circular form, the interior retaining original paint decoration, the exterior retaining much of the original gilding, the sides decorated with panels containing a recumbent lion, fouled anchor, trophies of arms and a naval crown. encircling a relief portrait bust of Nelson within the embossed inscription. The top comprising the Admiral’s bust in full uniform, hair en queue, cloak gathered round just below the epaulettes. Signed ‘M&P beneath the left shoulder for Nathaniel Merchant, R.A. (1739-1816) and Lewis Pingo (1743-1830).

Merchant was noted as a sculptor of intaglios, medals, and poetical designs for cameos. His subjects included copies from the antique, adaptations of famous paintings and portraits of his contemporaries. He held several appointments, including Assistant Engraver to the Royal Mint, Gem Sculptor to the Prince of Wales, Engraver to the King and from 1800, Engraver to the Stamp Office. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1791 and a full Academician in 1809. Lewis Pingo was also an Assistant Engraver to the Royal Mint who succeeded his father in the post in 1776.

Obverse embossed with the legend: ‘ADMIRAL LORD NELSON’ / ‘BORN 29 SEPT. 1756.’ Reverse: (embossed between two oak branches) ‘CONQUEROR / At / ABOUKIR / 1 AUGT 1798 / COPENHAGEN / 2 APRIL 1801 / TRAFALGAR / 21 OCTr 1805 / WHERE HE / GLORIOUSLY / FELL’

Similar examples are in the V&A (O78488) Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth (212/73)
Diameter: 5.3cm (2.1in)

Of circular form, the interior retaining original paint decoration, the exterior retaining much of the original gilding, the sides decorated with panels containing a recumbent lion, fouled anchor, trophies of arms and a naval crown. encircling a relief portrait bust of Nelson within the embossed inscription. The top comprising the Admiral’s bust in full uniform, hair en queue, cloak gathered round just below the epaulettes. Signed ‘M&P beneath the left shoulder for Nathaniel Merchant, R.A. (1739-1816) and Lewis Pingo (1743-1830).

Merchant was noted as a sculptor of intaglios, medals, and poetical designs for cameos. His subjects included copies from the antique, adaptations of famous paintings and portraits of his contemporaries. He held several appointments, including Assistant Engraver to the Royal Mint, Gem Sculptor to the Prince of Wales, Engraver to the King and from 1800, Engraver to the Stamp Office. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1791 and a full Academician in 1809. Lewis Pingo was also an Assistant Engraver to the Royal Mint who succeeded his father in the post in 1776.

Obverse embossed with the legend: ‘ADMIRAL LORD NELSON’ / ‘BORN 29 SEPT. 1756.’ Reverse: (embossed between two oak branches) ‘CONQUEROR / At / ABOUKIR / 1 AUGT 1798 / COPENHAGEN / 2 APRIL 1801 / TRAFALGAR / 21 OCTr 1805 / WHERE HE / GLORIOUSLY / FELL’

Similar examples are in the V&A (O78488) Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth (212/73)