ANTIQUE SILVER SNUFF BOXES
Antique Silver snuff boxes Description:
A small box, usually having a hinged lid, for holding snuff (ground tobacco).
Antique Silver snuff boxes History:
There are very few examples of silver snuff boxes made before 1700 although there is evidence to suggest that snuff was taken as early as the middle of the 16th century. The vast majority were made in the 19th century. Snuff went out of vogue in the 20th century and very few boxes were made after the 1940s.
Antique Silver snuff boxes Design:
The vast majority were rectangular but there are many other examples in various forms. They were used regularly and were on view in various social situations, so they were often designed to impress. It followed that silversmiths were asked to create more and more impressive designs including cast or engraved scenes of notable landmarks and views.
Antique Silver snuff boxes Collectors Note:
The level of craftsmanship and their aesthetic qualities determine their value. Unusual shapes or scenes command the highest prices. But they must also be undamaged with good clear hallmarks, crisp detail, and well-fitting lids/hinges.