An English Sterling Silver snuff box made in Birmingham 1837 by Edward Smith. Original owner's armorial, cast edge and thumbpiece, gilded interior. 9.5 x 6.75cm;252gm.
The Arms of the Family of Lyttleton
The armorial bearings as engraved upon this William IV Silver Snuff Box by Edward Smith, hallmarked Birmingham 1837 are those of the family of Lyttleton. They may be blazoned as follows:
Arms: Argent a chevron between three escallops sable
Crest: A moor’s head in profile couped at the shoulders proper wreathed about the temples argent and sable
The family of Lyttleton anciently sprang from the County of Worcestershire having considerable holdings in the Vale of Evesham, notably at South Lyttleton from whence their surname was assumed. They had a long connection with Frankley in the aforementioned county which stemmed from the marriage of Thomas de Lyttleton to Emma, the only daughter and heir of Sir Simon de Frankley during the reign of Henry III. Over the centuries the family, together with its considerable number of branches acquired lands, offices and a great deal of influence. A number of peerages have been granted to the family and at least one baronetcy of England that of Frankley created on the 25th July 1618. Undoubtedly, the snuff box was in possession of a member of this family at the time of either William Henry, 3rd Lord Lyttleton (born 27th October 1763 died 30th April 1837) or his son, George William, the 4th Lord Lyttleton (born 31st March 1817 died 19th April 1876) bearing in mind that William IV died on the 20th June 1837 the year of the hallmarking of this particular piece. Today, the family is represented by John William Leonard Lyttleton, the 11th Viscount Cobham who is also the 7th Lord Lyttleton, Baron of Frankley in the County of Worcester and the 14th Baronet of Frankley in the same county.