A late 1700s prisoner of war snuff shoe. Note the carved leaves on the top of the sliding lid and carved buckle.
Several of these type of snuff shoes were made at Sissinghurst Castle , where up to 3,000 French prisoners were incarcerated during the Seven Years' War (1756-63). The prisoners, imprisoned seamen, wrote home to their families, referring to Sissinghurst as Chateau de Sissinghurst; the name stuck. These antique snuff boxes were made to sell in the markets surrounding the prisoners, where trade between prisoner and the outside world regularly took place. The money that these prisoners made from selling their goods enabled them to buy food, gamble and in some cases save for when they were released. Late 18th century.