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This very good quality cast William IV silver snuff box depicts a raised scene of Mazeppa to the lid and was made in Birmingham in 1835 by Edward Smith and measures 3.25 inches in length by 2 inches wide and is 0.75 inches deep.
Mazeppa is a narrative poem written by the English romantic poet Lord Byron in 1819. It is based on a popular legend about the early life of Ivan Mazeppa (1639–1709), who later became Hetman (military leader) of Ukraine.[nb 1] Byron’s poem was immediately translated into French, where it inspired a series of works in various art forms. The cultural legacy of Mazeppa was revitalised with the independence of Ukraine in 1990.
According to the poem, the young Mazeppa has a love affair with a Polish Countess Theresa while serving as a page at the Court of King John II Casimir Vasa. Countess Theresa was married to a much older Count. On discovering the affair, the Count punishes Mazeppa by tying him naked to a wild horse and setting the horse loose. The bulk of the poem describes the traumatic journey of the hero strapped to the horse. The poem has been praised for its “vigour of style and its sharp realization of the feelings of suffering and endurance” The poem also inspired Alexander Pushkin to write his poem Poltava, as an answer to Byron’s poem.
It has a gilded interior and bears the inscription From MN to LAGOP April 1868 in flowing script inside the lid and is fully and clearly hallmarked to both base and lid, the sides and base are engine turned engraved and the border and thumb piece to the lid are cast floral in design. It is in very good condition and weighs 6 ounces or 187 grams.

Price: £1150

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