Tobacco paraphernalia

A smoker who leaves his home should take his favorite tobacco with him in his indispensable tobacco box. These are known from the early 17th century onwards, mostly in brass. The oldest specimen is small, decorated with the portraits of the Princes of Orange or other popular symbols. In the interior often a pipe stopper is found, because the pipe bowls were very small in that period.

During the 18th century the engraved oval brass box got extremely popular, with hundreds of different scenes, from biblical to the most obscene. These boxes were replaced by painted papier-mâché boxes after 1800, of which the best came from the German city of Braunschweig: the so-called Stobwasser boxes. Besides the hand painted boxes many were applied with printed images to increase production numbers and lower the price. A rare copy has a secret inner lid with a scabrous picture.

Another pipe smoker’s accessory is the pipe tamper, such simple object, but no smoker can do without tampering down the tobacco in the pipe bowl in order to get a good draft in his pipe. English ones often show fine bronze casting and nice representations. In popular art all kinds of small prickers were produced to clean the pipe from the ashes. They are called pipe-cleaner or pipe-scraper.

An object used by both pipe smokers and tobacco chewers is the spittoon or to use a more exotic name a cuspidor, after the Portuguese word. Beautiful vases of opaline glass are actually quite an adornment on a table, notwithstanding their use. Larger shaped spittoons were placed on the floor and were used in public places.

Front of a cast brass tobacc box showing the bust of prince Maurits of Orange. The Netherlands, c. 1630 Back of a cast brass tobacco box with the arms of prince Maurits of Orange. The Netherlands, c. 1630.
A small oval tobacco box with the bust of stadtholder Frederik Hendrik including an inscription. The Netherlands, c. 1640. A cast brass tobacco box with in relief the bust of stadtholder William III, the lid closed with a simple hinge and closing hook. The Netherlands, c. 1650.
A tobacco box in Louis XVI-style, the lid with open work lined with red copper in contrast to the yellow brass. Dutch colonial, c. 1800.
An extra inside lid of a metal tobacco box with erotic scene of a love making couple. Germany, Braunschweig, 1840-1850. A painted tin tobacco box with on the lid a blind man finding his way with a walking stick. Germany, Braunschweig, 1830-1850.
Painted tin tobacco box with a landscape, the contours of the decoration are made with a transfer print. Germany, Braunschweig, 1840-1850.
Tin tobacco box with on the lid the funeral procession of a member of the family of the House of Orange. Germany for the Dutch market, 1830-1850. Tin tobacco box with on the lid the funeral procession ot a member of the House of Orange. Germany for the Dutch market, 1830-1850. Tin tobacco box with in Japanse black lacquer a landscape with volcano. Japan ?, 1850-1880.
Two pipe tools in wood, the one on the right side with metal accents, folk art. The Netherlands, 1850-1900.
Cast brass pipe stopper shaped like a ladies leg, the stopper part roughened. England, 1850-1900.
Cast brass pipe stopper showing a hand holding a pipe. England, 1850-1900.
Cast brass pipe stopper showing a standing tobacco merchant in his right hand a bunch of tobacco leaves. England, 1850-1900.
Brass pipe stopper with as a handle the bust of a man, his right hand up. England, 1850-1900. Cast brass pipe tamper with on the top a human bust in caricature. England, 1850-1900.
Spittoon in blue opaline glass, highly fashionable between 1830 and 1850 but also produced in later times. France, 1850-1880. Spittoon with its characteristic broad rim in white glass with some gilding. France, 1850-1900.
Original box containing a dozen of pipe reamers to remove the coal layer in the pipe bowl. The Netherlands, 1900-1920.
Porcelain spittoon with on the rim and the outside decoration with branches of flowers in Chinese style. Germany, 1860-1890. Simple spittoon for the user of chewing tobacco in enamel with brown outside. The Netherlands, 1880-1920.
Spittoon in ceramic meant to be placed on the floor, a circular opening to empty on the side. England, 1870-1900.
A many sided glass spittoon with a functional broad rim. The Netherlands, Maastricht, 1890-1910.

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