This is a rare Austrian sterling silver, mother of pearl and enamel box, made in Vienna in 1867.
This is a superb Austrian silver oval box with a Christian allegorical scene to the lid.
The lid of the box has a large oval piece of mother of pearl with a natural ridge around the left hand side across the top. The lid has an enamel figure of St Eustace kneeling and praying with his dog to a white stag with the cross of Jesus between his antlers.
St Eustace himself is suberbly chased and has blue, red, violet and black enamel robes, hat and boots. His dog is of yellow/orange enamel and the stag of white enamel. The mother of pearl has chased trees behind the stag. The side and underside of the box are beautifully chased with swirling leaves and flowers, and the base has a central cartouche with no engraving.
The box is hinged and in full working order and the inside retains its original gilding.
*St Eustace also known as Eustacius was a legendary Christian martyr who lived in the 2nd century AD. There was a martyr of the same name who was venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic church. Prior to his conversion to Christianity he was a Roman general named Placidus who served the Emperor Trajan. While out hunting a stag in Tivoli near Rome, Placidus saw a vision of Jesus Christ between the antlers of the stag. He was immediately converted to Christianity and had himself and his family baptised, changing his name to Eustace.