Snuff box ” LA BIENNOISE”, trademark.
African acajou wood and metal silver, c.1870s,
8,5 X 4,5 cm.
One of the more functional types of decorative boxes is the snuff box, which is now largely a relic of the once popular practice of taking snuff. At one time, this tiny decorative but utilitarian box was an indispensable accessory for every man of birth and breeding from the 18th century through the middle of the 19th century.
Artisans, such as the jeweller and the enameller bestowed infinite pains upon this object, which was as much a delicate bijou as a piece of utility. Gentlemen of Quality, fops, and dandies possessed a great variety of snuff-boxes, some of which were quite rich in detail, with frames of gold encased with diamonds. Other boxes were more ordinary. Made with potato-pulp, the cheapest wood available, they were extensively used.
Snuff is a generic term for fine-ground smokeless tobacco products. Originally the term referred only to dry snuff, a fine tan dust popular mainly in the eighteenth century. This is often called “Scotch Snuff”, a folk-etymology derivation of the scorching process used to dry the cured tobacco by the factory. Snuff powder originated in the UK town of Great Harwood and was famously ground in the town’s monument prior to local distribution and transport further up north to Scotland
Types of Snuff
European (dry) snuff is intended to be sniffed up the nose. Snuff is not “snorted” because snuff shouldn’t get past the nose, i.e.; into sinuses, throat or lungs. European snuff comes in several varieties: Plain, Toast (fine ground – very dry), “Medicated” (menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, etc.), Scented, and Schmalzler, a German variety. The major brand names of European snuffs are: Toque Tobacco (UK), Bernards (Germany), Fribourg & Treyer (UK), Gawith (UK), Gawith Hoggarth] (UK), Hedges (UK), Lotzbeck (Germany), McChrystal’s (UK), Pöschl (Germany) and Wilsons of Sharrow (UK), TUTUN-CTC (Moldova).
Another “La Biennoise” snuff box
- Did you know… Snus (Swedish: “snuff”) is a moist powder tobacco product that is consumed by placing it under the upper lip for extended periods of time. It was originally developed from powdered snuff that was inhaled through the nostrils. Snus is manufactured and consumed primarily in Sweden and Norway. A version has recently been introduced into the United States and is being test-marketed by two major American tobacco companies as well as one Swedish company. However, the health effects of these new versions of snus have not yet been studied.
- Did you know… the first tobacco plantation was in the United States? It was established in Virginia in 1612!
« Snuff box » a BBC Three sketch show
Snuff Box (sometimes referred to as Berry & Fulcher’s Snuff Box) is a BBC Three sketch show starring and written by Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher. If you enjoy the weird and wacky, cult style comedy then Snuff Box is a must watch.
Berry and Fulcher walking down the corridor