Antique 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 functional and also artfully made. Cigarette cases, snuffboxes, vinaigrettes, pill boxes, match safes, etc. all fall into this category. 

Snuffboxes - which were used for holding snuff, or scented tobacco - range in design and style from extraordinarily elaborate and luxurious (think Fabergé) to quite modest. This round ormolu and agate lidded box is a great example of a more practical version, likely carried by an English or American gentleman in the early-mid 19th century. The polished, banded agate lids are fitted into a decorative ormolu (brassy-toned) hinging frame. The banding is high contrast, dark and light: charcoal black bands with chocolate brown, khaki tan and fondant white. This is the only round box in our 20+ box collection! 

Measurements: 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 3/4", 24 grams
Era: Early-Mid Victorian, ca. 1840s-1870s
Markings: N/A

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