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Snuff box, Europe, 1831-1900

Used to contain a finely powdered tobacco known as snuff, this lacquered wooden box has an illustration of a man preparing ‘The Black Draught’. This probably refers to a well known laxative that could be bought at pharmacists or made at home, although ‘Black Draught’ could also be coffee. Snuff is snorted or rubbed on to the gums and was well-liked for its aroma, taste and stimulating nicotine boost. It was once believed to ward off colds, be good for ear, nose and throat problems and stop snoring.

Object number:

A642700

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Glossary:

Glossary: snuff box

a small usually ornamental container for holding snuff Boxes, usually having a hinged lid and small enough to be carried in the pocket, used for holding snuff

Glossary: tobacco

No description.

Glossary: laxative

An agent that acts to encourage evacuation of the bowels

Glossary: nicotine

A chemical compound that forms 0.6-3.0 per cent of the dry weight of tobacco. Nicotine acts as a stimulant in mammals, and is one of the primary reasons for smoking addiction.

Glossary: snuff

Tobacco that has been finely powdered. Snuff is usually sniffed through the nose, or applied to the gums with a finger.

Glossary: lacquer

A varnish that dries by the process of evaporation to provide a hard, protective finish.