Curiosities encircling snuff tobacco
Snuff taking has been such a rage for a long period that it resulted in many unexpected objects for the users, nowadays sometimes difficult to determine what it is. The snuff box is of course well known, from simple to the fancy extravagance. The ceramic flasks or secouette are examples of the simple kind and were popular in Normandy. More exclusive are the boxes made out of the coquille nut, a tropical nut that gets extremely hard after drying out (and being carved). The original shape of the nut is hard to disguise.
The snuff shop stocked large quantities of snuff tobacco in the well-known tobacco jars or shop shelve pots. They are commonly made in Delftware, circular or pear shaped, fitted with a brass lid on top. The blue painting indicates the kind of tobacco or taste of the snuff. Wealthy estates might have more luxurious porcelain snuff jars which are inspired by Chinese examples and mounted with silver fittings.
French brown stoneware pots with embossed decorations are simply closed by a large cork or have a double pewter screwing lid to preserve the aroma.
An article that is rare, both nowadays and in former times, is the snuff rasp, used to make your own, freshly grained snuff tobacco from a tight-twisted tobacco carrot. The back is what you actually see, it covers and hides the iron rasp underneath. The back itself is an artwork on its own, carved in palm wood or ivory, with motives in Louis-XIV style. The harbor city of Dieppe in France is well known for its high-quality and artistic ivory works.
Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes