John Obrisset

English, active 1691–c. 1728

Snuff box, c. 1702–1714

tortoiseshell, silver, gilt

3 x 6.4 x 4.9 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor



Objet d'art, Decorative Arts Silver

John Obrisset, a Huguenot refugee, came from a family of ivory carvers and immigrated to London in 1691. He worked in horn and tortoiseshell and various precious metals, establishing a reputation as one of the outstanding craftsmen in his field in London. This snuff box features a pressed tortoiseshell lid molded in radiating flutes. At its centre is an applied double portrait of Queen Anne (1665–1715) and her husband Prince George of Denmark (1653–1708), worked in silver. The interior of the box is gilt. The influx of Huguenot Protestants from France into England in the seventeenth century had a great impact on English silver design, as they brought with them continental tastes and fashions.

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