Snuff Shoes or Chocolates How Times Have Changed......

I bought a small collection of snuff box shoes the other day and it got me thinking about how snuff taking was introduced into Britain and why it became such a popular habit. Initially snuff taking was for the aristocractic circles with William and Mary and Queen Anne being confirmed snuff takers. But 1702 seemed to be a key year for popularising snuff with the ordinary man and woman. Several thousand barrels of choice Spanish Snuff, ready ground, (sneezing powder) were captured and sold at the English seaports at low prices and hence the habit of snuff taking began. Snuff shoe boxes are a fascinating field. They are just one of a huge variety of snuff boxes made, but there are a large number of different shoes to be collected.For example if you come across a double shoe snuff box, especially with hearts on it then it was likely to have been given as a love token.Some snuff shoes actually have brass nail words such as LOVE or MY ONLY LOVE on confirming the association of shoes with love and marriage. Look out for the trick snuff shoes where when you slide the lid off a snake pops out!!! There are puzzle shoes where there is a trick opening. Lids maybe on the top or less commonly on the sole of the shoe, hinged or sliding. Some have names on and or dates.

Times have changed, turning up for dinner with a snuff box in the 18th/19th century was not uncommon, whereas today its chocolates and wine........ Please share with us here any interesting snuff shoes or boots that you have come across. snuff_boxes

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We first became involved in Antique Treen and furniture some twenty five years ago and since then a passion for Treen, small wooden snuff boxes and decorative wooden items has developed into Opus Antiques.

This web site shows only a  small selection of our current stock for sale, if you are looking for something you don't see, please contact us.


We are also interested in buying Antique Treen items. As well as using our Contact page, you can also email or telephone us on 07941 285532


The word Treen is derived from the word tree and is a term used to describe wooden household objects, all turned from one piece of wood e.g. a bowl, plate, gingerbread mould, and spoons, always having a function.

Nowadays when we talk about Antique Treen it tends to cover all small wooden items including antique snuff boxes, candle stands, spice towers, etc. often made from several pieces of turned wood.


When a piece of wood has been painstakingly turned or carved, handled, polished and loved over a few hundred years old, it can develop a wonderful colour and patina and becomes an irresistible piece of Antique Treen.

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Address: Bath, Somerset       Contact Telephone: 07941 285532       Email: