Snuff box

’Mars and Venus’

Stobwasser Workshop

Berlin or Brunswick, First third of the 19th century

Papier-maché, black lacquer with fine decor in oil

Height: 1,7 cm (0.7 inch)
Diameter: 9,5 cm (3.7 inch) Ref No: 2181

Round snuff box with a very fine painted szene of the gods Mars and Venus in the clouds, given a garland of flowers by amor standing on the right. In the background two doves. Painted after a painting by Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian (1477-1576). In the cover marked in red ’Mars und Venus’, at the bottom ‚10525 Stobwassers Fabrik’.

Johann Heinrich Stobwasser (1740-1829)

was the founder of one of the most important japanning factories of the day. The main factory was in Brunswick, a subsidiary one was established in Berlin in 1772. They specialized in small objects, notably boxes very finely painted with portraits, landscapes, mythological scenes after Old Masters, sentimental genre scenes, etc. They soon became one of the most important japanning factories of the day with a broad aristrocratic clientele such as the Princely house of Weimar, the Prussian court or the daughter of the Tsar Maria Pavlovna (1787-1859), who bought many pieces for the castles in and around St. Petersburg. But even the upper middle class, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller or E.T.A. Hoffmann are among the clients of Stobwasser.


  • Richter, Detlev, Stobwasser, Lackkunst aus Braunschweig & Berlin, Museum für Lackkunst, Münster; 2005.
  • Richter, Detlev und Willscheid, Bernd, Reinheit, Feuer & Glanz, Stobwasser und Roentgen – Kunsthandwerk von Weltrang, Katalog zur Ausstellung in Neuwied, 2013.
  • Richard-Borek-Stiftung, Werkverzeichnis der Lackwarenmanufaktur Stobwasser und ihrer Nachahmer,, with a comparable snuff box, numbered 7710