The present golden snuff-box was presented to Alfred-Emilien O'Hara Comte de Nieuwerkerke by Queen Anna Paulowna of The Netherlands, as is indicated by the inscription on the inside of the cover: "Donné au Comte de Nieuwerkerke par S.M. la Reine des Pays bas 17 Novembre 1845 La Haye".
On 17 November 1845, the 32nd celebration of the liberation from the French occupation, King William II of The Netherlands unveiled in The Hague the equestrian statue of his ancestor William the Silent on Noordeinde. The King was accompanied by the princes and a large number of court officials, the ministers, the Secretary General and the chairmen of both chambers of the States General. Queen Anna Paulowna watched the ceremony from the balcony of the Royal Palace Noordeinde together with the princesses and her retinue. To add lustre to the ceremony one hundred canon-shots were fired and a military choir sang the national anthem: "Wilhelmus". After the statue had been unveiled a military parade, preceded by His Royal Highness and the princes, marched past the statue . This event is depicted by the French artist F. Cottrau on a painting commissioned by King William II in 1847 .
The next day the festivities proceeded in the Royal Dutch Theatre. Johan Tjasink, an actor, recited a poem by F.H. Greb about the inauguration of the statue of William the Silent and Maurits Cornelis van Hall recited his "Hoogtijdszang", a poem in commemoration of the ceremony which had taken place the day before .
According to contemporary newspapers  Emilien De Nieuwerkerke was awarded a royal decoration (Commandeurskruis in de Orde van de Eikenkroon) and was given the present snuff-box by Queen Anna Paulowna. Mr. Soyer, who was responsible for the casting of the statue, was awarded a royal decoration too (Ridder in de Eikenboom). Just like De Nieuwerkerke the Queen gave Soyer a golden snuff-box. As a gift for Soyer's wife the King added two bracelets set with precious stones. According to contemporary newspapers De Nieuwerkerke's snuff-box was decorated with the monogram of William II in precious stones. However on the present snufbox we don't find this monogram. Perhaps the stones were removed in the course of time and replaced by the present portrait of King William II. An other possibility is that the stones were made up by a reporter to emphasize the preciousness of this royal gift.
It is assumed that Alfred-Emilien Comte De Nieuwerkerke heard about the plans to raise a statue for William the Silent in 1841. On his own initiative he made a model of an equestrian statue representing William the Silent, which he exhibited at the 1843 Salon in Paris. Directly after the Salon De Nieuwerkerke travelled to The Hague where he exhibited the model again and showed it to King William II. The King was very impressed by the model and immediately decided to have it executed at his own expense. The statue was cast in bronze by the Soyer Company in Paris and was transported by ship to the Netherlands. Here it was erected in front of the Royal Palace on Noordeinde in The Hague on a piece of ground, which William II acquired especially for this purpose .
The equestrian statue was a private project of King William II . He not only decided to have the project executed, he also personally arranged the financing and placed the statue on a private piece of ground. For this he acquired a piece of ground between the Royal Palace Noordeinde and the "Gotische Gallerij" (Gothic Gallery), which housed his collection of art. By choosing this place, the statue became a part of his royal collection. The present snuff-box may be regarded as a personal gift by Anna Paulowna presented after the realisation of a private project of King William II.
 Nederlandsche Staatscourant, 12, 14, 18 November 1845
 In the collection of Stichting Historische Verzameling van het Huis van Oranje
 Krämer, F.J.L., "Over een Paar Haagsche Standbeelden" in: Die Haghe, Jaarboek, 1913, pp.297-198
 Nieuwe Amsterdamsche Courant. Algemeen Handelsblad, no. 4370, 20 November 1845; Dagblad van's-Gravenhage, nr.139, 21 november 1845, p.3  Krämer, (note 3) p.293-296. Wal, M. van der, "Krijgsman of Staatsman?, De Oprichting van Twee Standbeelden voor Willem de Zwijger in Den Haag" in: Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, 1983, 50-51
 Contrary to the statue of William the Silent on Plein, which was a project of the entire Dutch population, see: Wal, M van der, 1983 (note 5)