These small antique snuff boxes in the shape of shoes are a collectors field in their own right, Many different styles, woods and sizes exist.
Traditionally shoes are associated with luck and love going back to the bible, the throwing of old foot wear after the bride and groom, tying shoes to the back of the wedding car and silver shoes on wedding cakes.
Many snuff shoes must have been given as love tokens or wedding presents as heart decorations either in the form of brass hearts, brass pique work or inlaid hearts in bone, ivory or contrasting woods can be found . Sometimes even two shoes combined with one lid are seen occasionally with a motto. Pairs of snuff shoes exist with one initial on each shoe.
Besides the love tokens other motifs exist including crowns, feathers, crosses, flowers. These can be found on the lid, toes and sole. Toes can sometimes be capped in metal and so can the heels.
Lids can be sliding, hinged or pivoted usually the opening is on the top, but on rare occasions the opening of the box is on the sole of the shoe.
Antique treen snuff shoe boxes followed the style of the shoes in fashion for example the straight toe were on the whole early 19th century and the high button or laced female boot is from the late 19th century.
Most are pocket sized but larger examples of antique snuff boxes can be found. They were displayed on tables and passed around at functions or placed on a tobacconists counter where free samples of the snuff were allowed.
The Gallery shows a number of antique snuff shoes all are currently for sale and if you require any further information please contact me.
Image 1 and 2 - A dated, domed antique snuff shoe box. Price £380
Image 3 and 4 - A rare sole opening snuff shoe. Price £440
Image 5 - An early 1800's Prisoner of War Snuff Shoe. Price £245
Image 6 - A 19th century table snuff shoe. Price £235
Image 7 and 8 - A pewter toe and heel capped 19th century mahogany snuff shoe. Price £185
Image 9 - A very small 19th century brass pique work snuff shoe. Price £145
Image 10 and 11 - An early 19th century concave hinged lid with heart to the sole. Price £255