Antique Russian Silver and Niello Snuff Box
Date: Circa 1850
Literature. The practice of grinding tobacco leaves for personal use, by inhaling the powder, was first recorded in 1650. This...
Literature. The practice of grinding tobacco leaves for personal use, by inhaling the powder, was first recorded in 1650. This habit soon became popular creating a demand for snuff boxes. These were made in two sizes; personal boxes to fit in a waistcoat pocket which would hold a small quantity, enough for immediate consumption, and communal boxes made for table use. People of all social classes used these boxes when snuff was at its peak of popularity and the wealthy carried a variety of fancy snuff boxes in precious metals, with jewels, enamels and portrait miniatures. Boxes made for the poorer snuff takers were more ordinary; popular and cheap boxes were made in papier-mâche and even potato-pulp, which made durable boxes that kept the snuff in good condition. Even after snuff-taking ceased to be a general habit, the practice lingered among diplomats, doctors, lawyers and other professionals as well as members of professions where smoking was not possible, such as miners and print workers. Monarchs retained the habit of bestowing snuff-boxes upon ambassadors and other intermediaries as a form of honour.
This pretty box is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. The niello shows minor wear. There are traces of the original exterior gilt stipple background and slight wear to the internal gilding. Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
No maker assigned
Customer satisfaction is our primary concern
All silverware on our website is checked thoroughly prior to offering it for sale and every product listing contains a condition report and details of the silver hallmarks.
All items offered on our website include:
- Free Shipping Worldwide
- Tracked and Insured
- 14 day no quibble money back guarantee
- We are accredited members of LAPADA and conform to their strict professional standards
- We dispatch 1-3 days after receiving cleared payments
More detailed information about deliveries, returns and how to pay is available in the Help section at the bottom of this page.
Recently Viewed Products
Keep up to date with our Latest Items and News on Early Silver