This black papier mache snuff box dates to the mid-19th century. It contained within its interior a mystery that dates to the Civil War period in the form of two small folded scraps of paper which someone treasured enough to keep safely tucked into this little hiding place.
The scraps of paper contain jottings on what appear to be two Civil War casualties. One scrap of paper has the dates "fall 1864" and "Feb '77". The other scrap has "early in year '63" and "Jan 31 '77" which is written in different ink. Both papers have crude drawings of a Union flag. Both give some detail of the death of a Union soldier. Both give the name, rank, age, and state of a soldier who was killed.
Someone dealing in Civil War history might be able to decipher the mystery involving these two young men who lost their lives long ago. These papers are, at the least, interesting and thought-provoking conversation pieces reflecting the history of this nation. I am not qualified to authenticate these papers. This estate had many items from this time period.
The snuff box measures 2 1/2" by 1 3/8" by 1" in height. There is a loss of a portion of papier mache on the inside of the lid (see photo). The hinge is fully functional. The papers measure about 2 1/2" by 5" each and have writing on both sides. Some of the writing is faded and hard to read.