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Snuff box

Snuff box

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1700-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Shell of stag of cowry shell with silver mounts

  • Credit Line:

    Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A snuff box was a small box, usually having a hinged lid, for holding snuff (pulverised tobacco). The bottom part is usually made in one piece, the lid being attached by means of a hinged metal frame fitted to both parts. Some examples have two compartments, with a hinged lid at the top and another at the bottom. Decoration included engraving, chasing, embossing, engine turning or enamelling, setting with gemstones or ornate cast lids. The box is usually rectangular, but there are also many in a vast variety of fanciful shapes.

Physical description

Snuff box made of stag cowry shell (Cypraea cervus), silver mounts, moulded edges, hinged lid, the interior gilt. Engraved with the arms and crest of Armstrong, c. Lincoln and Nottingham. The interior engraved with the initials AA.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1700-1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Shell of stag of cowry shell with silver mounts

Marks and inscriptions

D and then a D in reverse. Is this a makers mark points for it being a mm. are 1) that it is an incuse mark 2) it is in the correct place for a makers mark. However it is relatively large for a makers mark.

Engraved with a crest and a coat of arms for Armstrong, co. Lincoln and Nottingham.

Engraved with the initals AA.


Height: 4.65 cm, Length: 8.5 cm, Width: 6.75 cm, Weight: 111.7 g

Object history note

Bequest - Croft Lyon
Acquisition RF: Croft Lyon

Descriptive line

Snuff box, stag cowry shell with silver mounts, England, 1700-1800, mark of DD (unidentified).


Shell; Silver; Gold


Hammering; Amalgam gilding; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Moulding; Crest; Coats of arms


Containers; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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