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Herrengrund Souvenir Snuff Box

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A rare souvenir snuff box from Herrengrund (formerly within Hungary, now present day Slovakia).

Heavy gauge copper retaining traces of the original gilding, the lid engraved with a scene of an important looking Asian figure sitting beneath a canopy, cross legged and smoking a long pipe, the background cut-away and filled with a blue enamel, (considerable losses). The base is engraved with a legend likely to read along the lines of 'Believable It Is That I Was Iron. In My Heart I Can Prove It', relating to the fact that iron left for a period in the water of the area would precipitate pure copper from the copper sulphate rich waters, the piece of iron collecting considerable amounts of copper to its surface. Such souvenirs, invariably carrying a text along lines of 'Iron I was and copper I am' were sold at fairs throughout central and southeastern Europe from as early as the beginnings of the 16th century through to the end of the eighteenth century, after which time popular knowledge of chemistry increased and this type of object inevitably became less ‘magic’.

Hungary circa 1700.

3 5/8 in x 2 3/8 in x 1 in



Item Code: 4717

£ 1600

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