Brass tobacco box, England, 1801-1900
Used to carry tobacco for chewing or smoking, this pocket-sized brass tobacco box is engraved with the words “Modern Prophecy” and a picture of a strange looking flying machine. Apparently flying by means of flapping wings, this ‘ornithopter’ appears to be steam powered. Such machines would have been a feature of the science fiction of the day. This type of image is not uncommon on tobacco boxes although it is unclear what it means.
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Glossary: tobacco box
Small box used for carrying smoking or chewing tobacco, especially those with unattached fitted covers. For similar box having a hinged lid instead of an unattached, fitted cover, use "snuffbox."