German Pewter & Brass snuffbox with Frederick the Great & his Grenadiers, c. 1780
German Pewter snuffbox, the lid inset with a brass plaque moulded with a scene depicting Frederick the Great and his Grenadier Guards, resting alongside General Zieten. Marked , c. 1780
7.5x5cm, 2cm high
The scene relates to a Frederick the Great anecdote, regarding an incident on campaign in the Seven Years War (1756-63). During an exhaustive march, Frederick and his Grenaidier guards paused for the night, building a fire to stay warm. With them was Frederick's favourite General, Hans Joachim von Zieten. As they dozed by the fire, a soldier clumsily touched the sleeping General's foot; Frederick leapt to his feet, waving his finger and proclaiming ' Hush Grenadier! Take care not to wake the General, he is very drowsy!" . This is the inscription at the base of the brass plaque inset into the lid of this snuffbox, titled "ST GRENADIER WECKE MIRDEN ZIETEN NICHT" - do not wake Zeiten! It expresses the admiration for Frederick the Great as a caring, down-to-earth soldier's King, who was willing to share the same hardships as his men faced - and cared for the sleeping habits of his favourite general!