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Snuff Box Souvenir of Herrengrund

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From when this box was made, sometime around 1700, Herrengrund, now Spania Dolina in Slovakia, had become a tourist destination, the story of the natural alchemy occurring at its mine disseminating far and wide throughout Europe. The water near the mine has such a high copper content that when objects of iron are placed in hollows over which the water flows, copper deposits itself onto the iron, and gradually dissolves it. This metallurgical miracle gave rise to considerable interest from European travellers, especially academics, including industrialists and chemists, but thereafter archaeologists, artists and inventors. And then educated classes who might buy a souvenir such as this and add it to their Kunstkabinett. The Old German writing engraved to the base will read along the lines of 'I come from iron but the power of the water has turned me into copper in a mine in Herrengrund'.

This box, most probably made for snuff, is made of a heavy gauge copper, 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, although this with considerable losses. 

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


Item Code: 5200

£ 1400

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