19th Century Tagua Nut Carved Snuffbox

19th Century Tagua Nut Carved Snuffbox

£2,120.00
Service fee
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£63.60
Delivery fee for 
£35.00*
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Delivering from
Paris, France
Collection
Collection available ✓

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About this item

Beautiful Tagua nut carved snuffbox featuring a whale's head with sulphur eyes.
The lid is decorated by a flowered vase topped by the inscription "souvenir de R".
The inside of the box is covered in vermeil.

The "palm ivory" from the Amazon rainforest bear fruit whose pulpit inner (endosperm) becomes very hard when dry and texture very similar to ivory. It is this which is called vegetable ivory or tagua. The tagua nut carves, turns, polishes easily and almost as finely as ivory. The tagua nut was worked by the sailors who made ​​such small boxes, snuff graters or tobacco also made ​​by convicts. The latter worked to pass the time but mainly to get some money to improve their lives. Can also be attributed to sailors during their long journeys.

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.

Dimensions

W3.0 x H7.0 x D4.0 cm

Condition

Used

Wear condition

Excellent

Date of manufacture

Unknown

Place of origin

France

Material

Wood

Period

19th Century

Seller

VAT status

Seller is VAT registered

SKU

88529646
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