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    Sale 7806

    Lord St. Helens and Sir William FitzHerbert The Collections of a Diplomat and a Courtier

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 522

    A CONTINENTAL GOLD-LINED TORTOISESHELL CIRCULAR BONBONNIÈRE SET WITH A ROMAN MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE

    PROBABLY ITALIAN, CIRCA 1830, THE MICROMOSAIC ROME, CIRCA 1800

    Price Realised  

    A CONTINENTAL GOLD-LINED TORTOISESHELL CIRCULAR BONBONNIÈRE SET WITH A ROMAN MICROMOSAIC PLAQUE
    PROBABLY ITALIAN, CIRCA 1830, THE MICROMOSAIC ROME, CIRCA 1800
    The circular black tortoiseshell composition box with concave sides, the independent cover inset with a tondo micromosaic plaque depicting two quails, one eating a snake, in a landscape with rocks, wheat, shrubs, and a straw basket, set within a gold mount
    3¼ in. (83 mm.) diam.


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    The interior of the lid is engraved with the words 'En memoire du Comte Simon Woronzow. le 21 Juin 1832'.
    St. Helens met Count Woronzow during his first diplomatic posting to Russia between 1783 and 1787, at the Court of the Tsarina Catherine II. Of a similar age, the two became friends. On St. Helens' retirement from diplomacy in 1802, Woronzow was over halfway through what was to be a decade as Russian Ambassador to London. The marriage of Woronzow's daughter Catherine to George Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke, in January 1808, ensured regular contact in London with St. Helens even after his embassy ended. Possibly a gift from Woronzow to St. Helens, it was on the Russian's death that St. Helens must have added the engraved inscription.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Possibly Simon Romanovitch Woronzow, 3rd Count Woronzow (1744-1832), Russian Ambassador in London, by whom given to Lord St. Helens.


    Literature

    Catalogue of Pictures and Curios at Tissington Hall, 1887, by Ida, daughter of Sir William FitzHerbert, 4th Bt., as a 'Round mosaic snuffbox given by Count Woronzow to Lord St. Helens'