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.

Snuff bottle or secouette in ceramic with a practical flattened shape and glazed on a special way. France, 1850-1880. Secouette for snuff tobacco with on one side the portrait of a woman with fashionable hat. France, 1880-1900.
Snuff bottle or secouette with in relief the name of a famous snuff brand. France, Brittany, 1880-1900. Snuff bottle in brown stone ware resembling a field flask and made in a mould, decorated in relief. France, Brittany, 1880-1900.
Snuff box carved from a coquia nut shaped like the caricature of a man, the lid on the back opens to the content. France, 1830-1860. Snuff bottle carved from a coquia nut with three portraits, the top an opening with a small stopper. France, 1830-1850.
Magnificent blanc de Chine snuff jar with silver mountings in relief with a Chinese decoration but made for the European market. France, 1750-1770.
Stone ware tobacco jar with double pewter lid to conserve the content, the shape six sided. France, 1870-1900.
Characteristic snuff tobacco jar in Delft blue painting showing the text "Rappe", a general indication for snuff tobacco. The Netherlands, Delft, 1760-1780.
Cylindrical tobacco jar in stone ware with embossed decoration in relief and double pewter lid. France, 1870-1900.
Cylindrical snuff tobacco bottles with embossed decorations, the cork to close the jar is missing. France, 1870-1900.
Snuffrasp in ivory with carved decoration of a woman with a prea cock as symbol of pride. France, Dieppe, 1730-1760. Snuff rasp in ivory showing Mercury as god of the trade, the shell on the top serves to pour out the contents. France, Dieppe, 1730-1760.
Small snuff rasp in ivory with a simple geometrical decoration. France, 1750-1780.
Inside of a small snuff rasp, the iron part in an undecorated ivory holder, silver mounting. France, Dieppe, 1740-1770.
An unusual snuff rasp with on the top a man sitting on a barrel, below a shell motive, an accanthus leaf and a grotesk head. France, Dieppe, 1730-1760.
A wooden snuff rasp showing a standing cocquerel in a circle in a geometrically ordened field. France, 1750-1800.
A snuff grinder for in the pocket consisting of a wooden grinder in a brass box. The Netherlands, 1800-1850.
Printed tins for snuff tobacco with a text in two languages. Belgium. Harelbeke, 1925-1950.

Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes
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