Original British Georgian Era Papier Mache H.M.S. Victory Snuff Box - Late 1700s to Early 1800s
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a really beautiful Georgian Era Lacquered Papier Mache snuff box depicting a great hand painted Naval battle scene. Judging by the artwork and construction, we do believe this box was made during the late Georgian era. The Georgian era is a period in British history from 1714 to c. 1830–37, named after the Hanoverian Kings George I, George II, George III and George IV. The definition of the Georgian era is often extended to include the relatively short reign of William IV, which ended with his death in 1837.
This 3 ¾” x 1 ½” x 1” box we believe could have very likely been owned and used by a Royal Navy Officer of the British Empire. The top of the lid has a very beautiful Naval battle scene being fought between 5 ships, one of which appears to be the HMS Victory. The position of the flags, sails and rear of the ship is almost identical to the HMS Victory in physical appearance as well as old artwork of the Victory.
The box is in very good condition for being over 220 years old and could still be utilized today. Almost all of the original black lacquer is still present as well as all the paint and colors used for the battle scene, but the colors have faded slightly.
This box comes ready to display in your Georgian Era British Empire collections!
The papier mâché box was used to store snuff, tobacco that is snorted or inhaled through the nose. Snuff, a powdered form of tobacco, was popular in the 1700s and 1800s for its stimulating nicotine boost and was also believed to help relieve common colds and stop snoring.
When snuff-taking was fashionable, the manufacture of snuff accessories was a lucrative industry in several cultures. In Europe, snuff boxes ranged from those made in very basic materials, such as horn, to highly ornate designs featuring precious materials made using state of the art techniques. Since prolonged exposure to air causes snuff to dry out and lose its quality, pocket snuff boxes were designed to be airtight containers with strong hinges, generally with enough space for a day's worth of snuff only. Large snuff containers, called mulls (made from a variety of materials, notably including rams horns decorated with silver), were usually kept on the table.
A floral-scented snuff called "English Rose" is provided for members of the British House of Commons. Recent practice has been for this tradition to be maintained at the principal doorkeeper's personal expense due to smoking in the House being banned since 1693. A famous silver communal snuff box kept at the entrance of the House was destroyed in an air raid during World War II with a replacement being subsequently presented to the House by Winston Churchill. Very few members are said to take snuff nowadays.
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