For the International Day of Jeweler: snuff box "Jeweller in his shop"

The 31th of January is the International Jeweller's Day. To mark this event, we would like to present one of the exhibits in our collection - a gold snuffbox by the Swiss firm Gubelin, created in the middle of the 20th century.

The hinged lid of the snuff-box is decorated with the enamel reproduction of one of the gems of the Northern Renaissance art – the painting "Jeweller in his Shop" by the Netherlandish (Flemish) painter Petrus Christus (1410-1475).

A goldsmith at his working counter, holding a ring in his right hand and a small scale in his left one is in the center of the composition. According to one hypothesis, this is a portrait of Willem van Vleuten, the famous 15th century court jeweller of the Dukes of Burgundy. According to another version, it is a depiction of St Eligius, the Christian patron saint of gold smiths. Either way, the painting and its reproduction on the snuff-box depict the jeweller in his workshop while the customers’ visit. A young couple choosing an engagement ring stands to the left of the goldsmith. Shelves on which one can examine the jewellery, he created and the materials needed for his work: crystal and glass vessels, glass and pearl beads, corals, shark's teeth, porphyry, semi-precious stones, brooches and rings are to the right of the craftsman.

Petrus Christus created this painting circa 1449, presumably it was commissioned by the jewellers' guild of the wealthy merchant city of Bruges. It was intended to demonstrate the importance and demand of the profession of jeweller. This image performs the same function on the snuff-box from the museum collection – decorating the exquisite work of the Gubelin company, it emphasises the ancient origin of jewellery art and its connection with the best achievements of European history and artistic culture.

We congratulate all jewellers on their professional holiday, wish them professional success, artistic achievements and discoveries, patience and filigree craftsmanship in their laborious work.

On the cover: snuff box "Jeweller in his shop", firm "Gubelin". Switzerland. The 20th century

Today, on the International Jeweller's Day, you can have a detailed look at the items of the museum collection presented in the section "Jewellery", as well as get acquainted with the details of the talentrd and skillful jewellers' biographies, who created their masterpieces in different historical epochs – in the section "Authors/Producers".

You can watch a video clip about the history of the English pin in the "Museum Stories" section.