Royal Frederick the Great Brass Commemorative Tobacco Box
    By I.H. Giese, Iserlohn, Germany, mid 18th century

    Oblong, the hinged cover embossed with the half length figure of Frederick, King of Prussia (r. 1740-1786) turned to the left, his head facing the viewer with Latin inscriptions and a Royal Prussian eagle, the entwined initials FR for Frederick Rex above with crown and further Latin inscription, the reverse depicting numerous victories including Leipzig, Friedberg, Neiss, and Colberg, each within oval medallions depicting armies in battle, further enhanced with the Prussian Eagle above the crowned insignia of the King-6 3/8 x 2 x 1 1/4 in.

    Frederick II ("The Great") (1712-1786)

    Prussia's most celebrated monarch, Frederick was declared King of Prussia at the age of 28. A Francophile and a correspondent of Voltaire, he tried to style himself as the ideal Enlightened monarch, modeling his court at Sans-Souci on Louis XIV's Versailles. Frederick most important legacy, however, was military. His territorial ambitions resulted in a lengthy struggle with Austria. While he succeeded in wresting the wealthy province of Silesia from the Habsburgs, the King's aggression resulted in the Seven Years War. Defeat by Russia was barely averted when Empress Elizabeth was succeeded by her Prussophile son, Peter III. Nevertheless, Frederick was instrumental in raising Prussia to great power status.

    Purchased from Suchow & Siegel

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2008
    24th Thursday
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