Wooden shoe-shaped snuff box, England, 1801-1830
Snuff boxes exist in a huge variety of designs, often mimicking the shapes of other objects. Women’s shoes seem to be a particular favourite. This may hint that the boxes were owned by women. Taking snuff was a popular habit of both men and women. Snuff is finely powdered tobacco which was snorted or rubbed on to the gums and well-liked for its aroma, taste and stimulating nicotine boost. It was also believed to ward off colds, be good for ear, nose and throat problems and stop snoring. (Shown here with two similar examples, A39529 and A637590).
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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
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.
Tobacco that has been finely powdered. Snuff is usually sniffed through the nose, or applied to the gums with a finger.