Snuffbox with diamond flowers associated with Frederick the Great of Prussia, about 1775. Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.414-2008

Snuffbox with diamond flowers associated with Frederick the Great of Prussia, about 1775. Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.414-2008

Snuffbox with diamond flowers associated with Frederick the Great of Prussia
Berlin, Germany
About 1775
Bloodstone quartz, gold, diamonds and coloured glass
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.414-2008

This box forms part of the group of snuffboxes associated with Frederick the Great of Prussia. It was made in Berlin around 1775 and is very similar to the designs of Jean Guillaume George Kruger. The use of coloured glass is an interesting feature and has caused some speculation that there might have been a Venetian connection to its making, although Germany was at the forefront of glass technology at this time, with enamel glass being produced at Meissen and other German porcelain and glass centres.

This snuffbox is made from seventeen panels of bloodstone quartz (dark green with bright red spots) mounted in gold, set with diamonds, some coloured yellow and others with metal foil behind to reflect the light. The cover is set with a vase in coloured glass, with a bouquet of stylized flowers in emeralds, rubies and diamonds, all within a border of diamonds in gold and sprigs of glass flowers. The walls and base of the box are decorated with more sprays of flowers in coloured stones and glass.