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German Table Snuff Box

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Origin Germany
Period Pre 18th Century
Materials Agate and gold
Dimensions
W. 2.75 in; H. 1.5 in; D. 2.25 in;
W. 6.99 cm; H. 3.81 cm; D. 5.72 cm;
Creation Date Circa 1675 – 1695
Description This small box, rectangular in form with canted corners, is made of agate mounted en cage with simple gold moldings. On the front panel of agate, there is a small shaped escutcheon with a simple push-piece locking device, while a small knob and gilded metal handle (probably a later addition) are placed on the slightly rounded top.

Tobacco was first brought to Europe in the sixteenth century and taken for medicinal purposes. During the seventeenth century, the taking of snuff became fashionable with the court and upper classes, and treaties were written on the etiquette thereof. However, Louis XIV banned his courtiers from taking snuff, so the practice did not really reach its peak of fashion until about 1715 after his death. Therefore, early snuff boxes, or tabaquieres, dating from the second half of the seventeenth century are extremely rare. Boxes of this period made of semiprecious stones such as agate and bloodstone mounted in gold and silver were generally German or English. This example, which is German in origin, was used as a table snuffbox.
Styles / Movements Baroque
Dealer Reference Number BOX 105
Incollect Reference Number 151856
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