Snuffbox Showing a Monument to Catherine the Great
Round Snuffbox with Aventurine Glass and a Map of the Crimea
Snuffbox with Portrait of Count Alexey Orlov
Snuffbox with Stones from Saxony
Snuffbox in the Form of a Pug-dog
Round Snuffbox with Diamond Rosettes
The snuff-boxes of Catherine the Great
...You are not Aurora borealis (Northern lights), you are the brightest star of the North, and there has never existed a star so beneficial - this is how Voltaire characterised Catherine the Great. During her reign, which is considered to be the Golden Age of the Russian history, Russia became a European country and St. Petersburg gained a significant place among the capitals of the educated world. The political success of Catherine II contributed considerably to her personal prestige, but it was really the flourishing of sciences and arts that gave a special brilliance to her reign. Under the Empress's order a magnificent Palace ensemble was erected, which became both the Royal residence and the depository of artistic values.
The main events in Catherine's reign and personal life were reflected not only in monuments, but also in miniature snuff-boxes which were often presented as an award, a diplomatic gift or a private present.