Tobacco box


Not on view

The box is octagonal. Its lid is engraved with a street scene; against a background of buildings, men are making casks and loading barrels onto a cart. Inscribed at both sides, framed by scroll borders, is: De sleepers kuijpers brouwers met malkandere den een leeft van den anderen / maer een eijder houdt het voor gewis dar een brouwer elcks welvaardt is (The carters, barrel makers, brewers, together they all procure business for each other / but everyone knows that a brewer means wellbeing for all).

The underside shows three women pointing guns at a cannon in the air. Amorous couples are seated at the sides. The inscription flanking this scene reads: Dat so een vogel vloeg geelijk een uijl bij de nacht men vont er anders niet als iufferous op de taght / gelijk een mol tragt na sijn hol tot vroeten is geboeren so doet een ionge gast die graeg tast een mooie rnijdt van voore (That a bird flew like an owl at night, one met nobody but young ladies in a draft/ as a mole who tries to reach his hole is born to burrow, so does a young man who likes to touch a young maid). It is not completely clear what is meant by this inscription. It could be that the bird flying at night symbolizes a man looking for amorous adventures. The women could be ladies of easy virtue. The firearms and cannons do not seem to fit into any explanation. This box was probably intended for a Dutch beer brewer.

Rims are lined and sides molded. Part of the same inscription was seen on a glass by Sweerts; see Koddige en ernstige opschriflen I, p. 16.

Tobacco box, Brass, Dutch

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