Dutch silver tobacco box

About This Project

Dutch silver tobacco box

Cornelis Brouwer

Delft, 1762

 165 grams; 13 cm long


The oblong cartouche-shaped box with hinged lid is chased and engraved with a nautical scene of ships setting out at sea from a harbour, surrounded by rocaille. The reverse of the box is engraved with a bird, surrounded by rocaille. Fully marked on the interior of the body and of the lid.


Cornelis Brouwer initially started his career as a silversmith as a so-called ‘kleijnwerker’ (making small objects and cutlery) in September 1750, when his maker’s mark ‘monogram CB in oval’ was struck on the insculpation plate of the guild. Almost six years later, on 28 March 1756 he paid the guild ten guilders for a second master test, probably for becoming a ‘grootwerker’ (service worker). He used to train many pupils in his workshop, amongst others his nephew from 1761 onwards, whose name also was Cornelis Brouwer. The latter did not need to pay the training fee of 6 guilders, charged for a period of four and a half to five years. Cornelis Brouwer himself did annual payments for renting a mill and sometimes also for purchasing mercury.


After 12 August 1768 his name does not appear in the records of the guild anymore. He probably died in October 1768. Hester Hogendam, his widow, whom he married in 1753, died in 1787 and was buried in the ‘Nieuwe Kerk’ in Delft.