Mid 19th Century snuff box made of gutta percha.
Gutta percha, also known as thermoplastic, was a very early plastic material used in the mid 19th Century to make a variety of objects, particularly the cases to hold early photos such as dagguereotypes, ambrotypes, etc. Occasionally snuff boxes are found in this material, but they are quite unusual.
The snuffbox has a very attractive and intricate design of cross hatching. There is a silver plaque that reads "From Peggy to William." We didn't test the plaque, but it appears to be sterling silver.
The box is curved to fit a pocket, as is also seen occasionally in silver snuff boxes of the 18th and early 19th Centuries. The top is not attached to the bottom, instead it fits tightly so it stays on by friction. The top is hinged so either end may be raised independently. The hinge still works well.
The box measures 4 1/4" by 2 5/8" by 1".
The condition is excellent, with some white oxidation on the top of the box.
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Early American antiques, Folk Art, early Pottery and Porcelain
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