Antique rectangular Victorian ormolu and banded agate lidded snuffbox objets de vertu

Snuffboxes fall into the enticing category of "objects de vertu," which is defined by the Antique Jewelry University as "small luxury objects that are not termed jewelry in the strictest sense of the word." These small, personal objects were portable, functional, and artfully made. Cigarette cases, snuffboxes, vinaigrettes, etui cases, match safes, etc. all fall into this category. Antique snuffboxes were made from a variety of materials, from wood and leather to porcelain and solid gold!

Snuffboxes - used for holding scented tobacco - range in design and style across the 18th and 19th centuries from extraordinarily elaborate to quite modest. Agate versions like this would have been carried by an English or American gentleman in the mid 19th century. The polished, banded agate lids are fitted into a decorative ormolu (brassy-toned) hinging frame with a machined border. The banding is high contrast on both lids, one with brown-toned colors and the other with orange-toned colors. Beautiful saturation. 

Measurements: 25 .8 grams 2 1/4" x 7/8" x 5/8"
Era: Early-Mid Victorian, ca. 1840s-1870s
Markings: N/A

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