19th Century Lion Snuffbox

19th Century Lion Snuffbox

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Paris, France
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About this item

Little walnut tree snuffbox in the shape of a lion, with an opening on the back, helped by a silver ring. The face is really expressive, the eyes are made of glass. Lions were very popular at that time, they represented power "Qui n a pas d epee porte un lion" but also the faith (he is seen a lot in catholic churches).
The inside of the box is also notably nicely made, symmetrical and smooth, what was not always the case, the attention being usually paid mainly to the outside part.

Inhaling snuff, or snuffing, as it is also called, was first witnessed by a European missionary in 1493, in the new world of Christopher Columbus, among Haiti’s indigenous Taino. Until then, tobacco had been unknown to Europeans, but its use spread like a weed on the continent during the 1500s. By the second half of the 17th century, ornate boxes started being produced to keep the precious powder dry.
By 1740, specialized artisans took over the production of these ornate tabatières.


W9.0 x H3.0 x D3.0 cm



Wear condition


Date of manufacture


Place of origin





19th Century


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