ANTIQUE SNUFF BOXES - THE ULTIMATE GIFT
Throughout European and colonial history in the 18th and 19th centuries the snuff box was perhaps the major personal, and often bespoke, possession. More generally owned than a timepiece, a snuff box (sometimes two and even three were carried) represented a lasting reflection of personal status and taste. The most important gift that a man was likely to receive was the gift of a snuff box.
Snuff boxes were made in a great variety of materials from gold and silver through precious mineral stones such as lapis lazuli, jade, bloodstone, or agate to the more readily available tortoiseshell or (very common) horn.
Depending on the status of the owner these boxes were engraved and ornamented with an endless variety of heraldic, family, masonic, guild or lodge devices. Ornamentation could include precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds or pearls and the boxes often carried a miniature portrait of the giver, or an inscribed message, representing a lasting souvenir of the gift.
Whilst most snuff boxes were for personal use a smaller number were given as presentations to communal groups to be made use of 'around a table' at City Guild and Company meetings. They were also sometimes located in places of work, as, for example, these fine snuff boxes in the US Senate chamber.
Precious and always handmade, snuff boxes were (and still are) the ideal gift for christenings, bar mitvahs, birthdays, retirements, anniversaries, marriages and indeed any important occasion.
The Regnas Snuff Box is modeled on early 19th Century snuff boxes, which at the time were among the most prestigious and treasured of gifts.