This is an unusual snuff box that was made to look like a book, with 'binding.' It has a drawer that does work when the drawer is properly aligned. The pieces need to be re-attached properly. This is definitely worth repairing and restoring it, since all parts appear to be here, and they are in Good Antique Condition. We have, accordingly, priced it quite low.
Size: 2" by 4" by 5"
Medium: Wood, leather, paper
Condition Report: Needs some restoring, primarily re-attaching. All pieces appear to be here. Drawer works when the book is closed properly on it.
Provenance: Whitenack Estate. Naples, Fl.
Notes: Snuff boxes are made in two sizes, ones for the pocket and communal boxes made for table use. Pocket boxes are usually made to hold a small amount of snuff for immediate consumption. Pocket boxes are intended keep a day or two's supply. Table boxes are still to be found in the mess of certain old regiments - often in the traditional 'ram's head' style - and a communal snuff box is kept in the House of Lords in the UK parliament. People of all social classes used these boxes when snuff was at its peak of popularity and the wealthy carried a variety of fancy snuff-boxes created by craftsmen in metal-work, jewellers and enamellers. Some of these were rich in detail and made from precious or expensive materials such as gold, silver and ivory and were often adorned with artwork, gems and precious stones. Boxes made for the less affluent snuff taker were more ordinary; popular boxes were made in papier-mache and even potato-pulp, which made durable boxes that kept the snuff in good condition. Monarchs retained the habit of bestowing snuff-boxes upon ambassadors and other intermediaries as a form of honor. As Talleyrand explained, the diplomatic corps found a ceremonious pinch to be a useful aid to reflection in a business interview. At the coronation of George IV of England, Messrs. Rundell and Bridge, the court jewellers, were paid quite large amounts for snuff-boxes for gifts to foreign representatives. Some of the most expensive are French and German 18th century examples, and the record auction price for a German box is about US$1.3 million, bid in 2003 at Christie's in London.
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