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S/2997 Antique 18th Century Dutch Brass Tobacco Box

A rare and extremely fine early 18th century Dutch tobacco box, finely engraved with scrolls and a basket weave, having panels of many figures and verses taken from the Book of Apostles.

We had the verses, which are written in early 18th century Dutch, translated into the modern Dutch language and then into English. The various scenes on the lid are from the Book of Apostles chapter five verses 1 to 11:

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?" She said, "Yes, for so much."
9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

On the sides the writings say 'If I see someone shy my box opens for them, but not for those who are freeloaders'. There are four further panels of figures. Two words used in this sentence, Schuyfjes Loopen, are 17th/18th century words, that no longer exist in the Dutch language today.

On the base of the box the scenes are from the Book of Apostles, chapter seven verses 54 to 60:

54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;
58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

The full translation from 18th century Dutch to modern Dutch and then to English, can be posted giving the full history and information on this rare piece that is in original and pristine condition, which is the finest example we have ever come across. We have decided that it is better offered in its present unpolished condition.

Sold 6 in. (16 cm.) Wide
2 in. (6 cm.) Deep
1 in. (4 cm.) High
Dutch Circa 1720