It’s hard to imagine a London where everybody was busy sniffing at the form of powdered tobacco that became known as snuff.
The habit was widespread in the eighteenth century with no regard for class or gender but on the plus side we are left with some fabulous little boxes made to keep snuff fresh and handy.
These range from bejewelled Fabergé beauties to humble wooden ones – the trick was to get the hinge right so the snuff didn’t escape.
Today they are a desirable collector’s item which are compact but very pretty as decoration.
For more on the history of snuff see http://theartisansnuffsociety.com/history/