M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
QUEEN ANNE / GEORGE I PRESSED HORN TOBACCO BOX
"Tent of Darius"
England, c1705-28 / Initialed 'OB'
The oval box with waisted body and lift off cover, the translucent cover pressed
with a scene from Charles Le Brun's 1661 painting
'The Queens of Persia at the Feet Alexander', or 'Tent of Darius',
and the 1702 engraving of the same by Gérard Édelinck,
depicting Alexander the Great accompanied by his lieutenant, Hephaesion,
visiting the mourning family of the defeated Persian king Darius III after the battle of Issus,
above a relief inscription : 'Sui victoria indicat Regem'*;
the cover with the pressed initials 'OB' below the inscription and within four concentric oval rings.
*'Sui victoria indicat Regem' : 'Victory over self points out the King';
also the adopted motto of the family of Rye (Norfolk and Suffolk)
Ref : Phillips, Philip A. S. 1931. Jean Obrisset, London.
Cf : for a similar box see p. 71 no. 88 and pl. 88
Schaverien, Adele. 1998. Horn, Medals and Straw, A Little Known Link. London :
Source Title : The Medal 32 (1998) : 31-8
An identical box with break to lid resides in the Fitzwilliam Museum
(See image and accession at the toward the end of this post).
The "Tent of Darius" also appears in ivory relief on a snuff box housing a
Jean Etienne Liotard miniature portrait of John, 1st Earl of Spencer.
John Obrisset was considered the premier maker of horn and tortoise boxes.
The son of an ivory carver who immigrated to London from Dieppe, France with the Restoration,
he was not recorded as a member of any of the guilds.
His name (usually monogrammed OB)
appears on many horn and tortoiseshell boxes of the late 17th and early 18th century.
Obrisset specialized in portraits of English Monarchs from Charles I to George II, among other topics,
as mythology and four variants of a box with the name and Arms of Sir Francis Drake executed in 1712..
Condition : Excellent with no evidence of restoration; normal wear;
the lid with a good fit and the whole without warpage
4.25" Long 3.25" Deep, 1.25" High
Above, Showing Translucency
Above, Showing Base Verso and Cover Interior, with translucency
Charles Le Brun, 'The Queens of Persia at the Feet Alexander' or 'Tent of Darius', 1661.
This painting won the admiration of Louis XIV who confirmed him in his post as Official Painter of the King.
Note the development of the tent and trees,as well as the shield lower right, not depicted in the original painting
Fitzwilliam Museum 'Tent of Darius' example :
Object Number: PER.M.356 & A-1923
(record id : 150649; input : 2007-08-20; modified : 2015-03-1
For a similar octagonal box sold by this gallery, see below :
Silver-Mounted 18th Century Pressed Tortoiseshell Snuff Box, "Tent of Darius"
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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581
South Perkins Road / Memphis,
TN 38117 / USA /
Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment