Fieldings are delighted to have consigned for our Summer Jewellery and silver auction a wonderful collection of Georgian and Victorian silver snuff boxes.
small, usually ornamented box for holding snuff (a scented, powdered tobacco). The practice of sniffing or inhaling a pinch of snuff was common in England around the 17th century; and when, in the 18th century, it became widespread in other countries as well, the demand for decorated snuffboxes, considered valuable gifts, increased.
Some were small enough to fit in a waistcoat pocket, and others were larger; all gave 18th-century craftsmen an opportunity to execute rich and elaborate designs.
Snuffboxes reflected the art and craft of the painter of miniatures, the enameller, the jeweller, and the goldsmith and silversmith. Lids often were decorated with typical 18th-century subject matter such as allegories and flowers. Sometimes they were ornamented with cameos or encrusted with precious jewels in arms and crest. Less expensive snuffboxes were constructed of silver, copper, brass, horn, tortoiseshell, or wood. The mull, a silver-mounted ram’s head, is a large table snuffbox. Some snuffboxes were worn as articles of jewellery during the 18th century.
This wonderful collection will be offered in our 15th/16th June auction.
To consign you collection of snuff boxes, please contact our silver consultant Nick Davies
Posted on 22 May 2023