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

Snuffboxes are part of a category of baubles formally called objects de vertu. Objets de vertu are personal, purposeful, and carefully designed objects small enough to be carried out and about. Cigarette cases, pill boxes, etui cases, match safes, etc. all fall into this category. Snuffboxes were used for holding scented tobacco in the 18th and 19th centuries. They range in design and material across the centuries and can be extraordinarily luxurious.

Agate and brass snuffboxes like this one were en vogue in the mid-late 1800s. This particular box is interesting because it has flip lid on the narrow end, allowing the user to tap a bit of snuff into the hand rather than pinch it out. The agate banded in warm iron-rich colors. The brass is stamped with a large asterisk-style pattern. 

Measurements: 22.5 grams, 2" x 5/8" x 1/2"
Era: Early-Mid Victorian, ca. 1840s-1870s
Markings: N/A

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