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Snuffbox with the Battle of Kunersdorf
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Snuffbox with the Battle of Kunersdorf

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description The Battle of Kunersdorf, an engagement of the Seven Years War, was fought in a small town not far from Frankfurt-am-Oder in 1759. It pitted the joint Austrian and Russian force against the Prussians, led by Frederick the Great. Count Petr Saltykov, whose name appears on the box, led the Russian army, which together with the Austrians won a resounding victory over the Prussians, who suffered fifty percent casualties. Inside the box is a portrait of Elizabeth framed by the inscription: "God Save Elizabeth, Empress of All Russia." This cartouche is painted over banners, cannon, and rifles, symbols of her recent victory. Cannons and banners also decorate the sides. The painting of this whole box is not nearly as sophisticated as miniatures by Musikiiskii, but closer to the naive painting of the Rostov enamels. Boxes such as this are more important for their historical than their artistic interest. That this victory was significant for the Russians is evident from the fact that there are many boxes with this same scene, one in the State History Museum in Moscow. Given their seemingly hasty painting, they must have been turned out as souvenirs. This was the case with similar boxes made in Berlin which Frederick the Great used for propaganda purposes (Hawes and Corsiglia, "The Rita and Fritz Markus Collection of European Ceramics & Enamels," Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1984, p. 253-4).
  • Russian Enamels. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996-1997.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1927, by purchase [in Paris]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Translation] Top: Kunersdorf, Saltykov, Victory; [Translation] Inside lid: God Save Elizabeth, Empress of All Russia
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1927

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ca. 1760
painted enamel, copper gilt
Accession Number
H: 1 7/16 x W: 3 3/16 x D: 2 5/8 in. (3.6 x 8.1 x 6.61 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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