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An Austrian Imperial diamond-set gold and enamel presentation snuff box, C.F. Rothe & Neffe, Vienna, late 19th century. Estimation 10,00015,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby’s

of cartouche form, the lid applied with an oval blue enamel plaque applied with the rose diamond-set crowned cipher of Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary (reigned 1848-1916), within a rose diamond petal frame, the matted ground set with six collet-set brilliants within further rose diamonds, the base and bombé sides engraved with foliage, makers’ mark, Vienna control marks for 1872-1922. Width 9.5cm., 3 3/4 in.

PROVENANCE: The property of a Gentleman, Sotheby’s, 25 November 1968, lot 118;
Christie’s Geneva, 10 May 1983, lot 34

Note: Christian Friedrich Rothe (born 29 July 1817 in Altenburg, Saxony) was apprenticed as a goldsmith in Vienna in 1834 and set up business in 1844. He was appointed Court Jeweller and Goldsmith to Franz Joseph in 1855 supplying Empress Elisabeth with the diamonds for her coronation as Queen of Hungary in 1867 and becoming Jeweller to the Shah of Persia in 1873 and to the Emperor of Brazil in 1874 (following the ill-fated Vienna International Exhibition of 1873). Rothe took his two nephews Anton Otto Gerbitz and Heinrich Emil Rothe into the firm (which at its peak employed some 60 workers) in 1850 and 1867. The business continued through five generations of the family under the name ‘zum Nibelungenhort’ at 7 Kohlmarkt until its closure in 2005.

Sotheby’s. Of Royal and Noble Descent Londres, 24 févr. 2015, 10:30 AM