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

Pressed gilt brass. Of circular form, the interior retaining some original paint decoration, the exterior retaining much of the original gilding, the sides with Greek key decoration, plain underside. The lid 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.

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