Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Snuff box

Snuff box

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Turned and stamped burr maple or birch

  • Museum number:

    W.31-1947

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Snuff, or powdered tobacco, was widely popular throughout Europe from the 17th century. Small boxes to contain the powder were made in their thousands, with decoration varying from the most expensive ones in jewelled gold and silver, to much more modest boxes of carved wood. This box is of a type that was produced in France by a semi-industrial process in the early 19th century. Boxes were turned out of burr maple or burr birch, and then steamed to soften them. They were then put into screw presses where finely-worked metal dies stamped scenes or motifs into both the lids and the bases. This box commemorates the bravery of the French Imperial Guard at the Battle of Waterloo, on 18 June 1815, when Napoleon's forces were finally defeated by the British, led by the Duke of Wellington.

Physical description

A circular snuff box of burr maple or burr birch, with a lift-off lid, cut from end-grain wood. The lid has been steamed and pressed in a die to create a design showing a tomb with an inscription and other inscriptions including the date 1815. The base of the snuff box is stamped with a spotted design overall and a circular framing of formal motifs.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca. 1815 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Turned and stamped burr maple or birch

Marks and inscriptions

LA GARDE IMPERIALE, MEURT, ET NE SE REND PAS
The Imperial Guard dies and does not surrender
On a cenotaph in the the centre of the image

AUX BRAVES MORTS LE 18 JUIN 1815
To the brave dead of the 18 June 1815
Below the stamped scene

EQU
ITA
ESF
PUR
Inscription pressed on the obelisk to the right of the scene

Dimensions

Diameter: 8.3 cm, Height: 1.5 cm

Descriptive line

Circular, of burr maple or birch, steamed and stamped with a commemoration of the bravery of the Imperial Guard at Waterloo

Materials

Burr maple

Techniques

Turning; Stamping

Subjects depicted

Soldiers; Weaponry; Cenotaph

Categories

Personal accessories

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.