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Risque Snuff Boxes

Snuff was taken by a wide range of people and in the early 19th century it had become an important part of both a man and ladies attire. Boxes were designed to keep snuff at its peak flavour with a low moisture and air content .

There was a huge variety of snuff boxes varying in shape, material and size. One sector in high demand were risque snuff boxes with nude images or figures hidden within the box . These boxes were often very subtle with images or figures found on the inside of the lid. Puzzle boxes were made having double lids, so that the images/figures were only seen by the owner. In prisons toys and snuff boxes which opened to reveal figures of ladies or men displaying their charms were made by prisoner of war to meet the large demand. However a hard line was taken in prisons on production of these items, hence the figural snuff boxes are very rare. Troops would be sent into prisons and would break up and destroy the work benches of anyone producing these items!!!

The images below are of a coffin shaped snuff box with a dummy lid to the top and the base lid that pivot open for snuff to be stored. In the middle there are two brass handles one pulls outl a drawer to reveal a carved naked wooden man!


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