Snuff has its origins in America, and was widely used in Europe during the seventeenth century. Snuff is a smokeless tobacco in that it is actually ground up tobacco leaves. A pinch of the powdered substance is taken from the snuff box and inhaled through the nose, or alternatively special snuffing devices may be used.
Snuff comes in several different forms and may be moist or dry, with the latter having a much finer texture. Many different flavours and scents are used from floral or spicy to to cinnamon, campher, whisky or bourbon flavours.
In order to prevent the contents from spilling out, any antique silver snuff box must have a lid which fits tightly over the bezel, and a fine snuff-proof hinge is also important.
Snuff boxes take many different forms and are collected for their period, shape or design but ultimately they must be in good condition.
by Nathaniel Mills. Birmingham 1851
by William Price, London 1822