Description Pieces of iridescent shell or mother of pearl were often used to decorate snuffboxes in the 18th century. However, this Dutch snuffbox is carved entirely from a very large piece of shell, likely taken from a pearl oyster. Given its size, it was probably imported from the warm Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, or South Pacific. It is intricately carved to depict the biblical story of the miraculous parting of the Red Sea by Moses to save the Israelites fleeing Egypt.
- Objects of Vertu: Precious Works of the Eighteenth Century. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
Provenance George Robinson Harding, London; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1914, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1914
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