|Carlo Alberto Re di Sardegna|
An Italian jewelled and enamelled gold presentation snuff-box, possibly Turin early-mid 19th Century.
Rectangular in shape with wavy contours, with fine blue and black enamel foliate decoration overall, the hinged cover enriched with diamond-set initials CA for Carlo Alberto king of Sardinia, and surmounted with the crown of Savoy within elaborate foliate borders.
H 2.5 cm x W 8.4 x D 5.7 cm Weight 164 gr.
Provenance: formerly belonged to Sir Thomas Reade (1782-1849) a British army officer during the Napoleonic Wars. He had a distinguished military career participating in campaigns in Holland, Egypt and America, as well as postings across Europe. In 1816 Reade set sail with Admiral Sir Hudson Lowe for St Helena with Napoleon Bonaparte. Reade was Deputy Adjutant General to Lowe the commander of the garrison guarding Napoleon in St Elena, becoming the 'chief go between' since Napoleon and Lowe famously did not get on. Following Napoleon's death on 5 May 1821, Thomas Reade returned to England and on 5 June 1824 was appointed Consul General in Tunis, a post he held until his death in 1849. As the time Thomas Reade was the British- General Consul in Tunis he collected many antiquities, much of which are now in the British Museum. This item was a diplomatic gift offered to the Colonel Sir Thomas Reade in recognition of his important contribution in maintaining friendly relations between the Kingdom of Sardinia and the regency of Tunis.
Literature: A diplomatic handwritten letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turin dated 8 August 1846 and signed by the Secretary of State Clemente Solaro della Margarita, accompanies this precious box
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