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Snuff Box Swedish ''bent wood.'' Circa late 18th century.

SKU: Snuff Box, Bentwood $299.95
Snuff Box, rare Swedish, traditional hand crafted "bent wood" box with two concentric rule lines bordering a hand carved banner design and intertwined circles. Inset top with period leather "pull." Wood peg fastened top & bottom. Age appropriate wear. The box contains period snuff. 4.5cm. wide x 7cm. long x 2.8cm. deep. Circa: late 1700s. In very fine condition. Very well designed and executed by a master craftsman. The Snuff Box is now largely a relic of the once popular practice of taking snuff. At one time, this tiny decorative but utilitarian box was an indispensable accessory for every man of birth and breeding from the 18th century through the early 20th century. Artisans, such as the jeweler and the enameller bestowed infinite pains upon this object, which was as much a delicate bijou as a piece of utility. Gentlemen of quality, fops and dandies possessed a great variety of snuff boxes, some of which were quite rich in detail, with frames of gold encased with diamonds. Other boxes were more ordinary, made with potato-pulp, the cheapest wood available. Other popular materials used in making these boxes include: Tortoise-shell, Mother-of-Pearl, Silver, Gold, Enamels, Diamonds and other precious stones. The lids were often adorned with a portrait, a classical vignette, portrait miniature, hardstone inlays, or micromosaic panel. Some of the most expensive just used subtly different colors of gold. Even after snuff taking ceased to be popular in general, the practice lingered among diplomats. Monarchs retained the habit of bestowing snuff boxes upon ambassadors and other intermediaries as a form of honor. As Talleyrand explained, the diplomatic corp. found a ceremonious pinch to be a useful aid to reflection in a business interview. We may trace much of modern lavishness in the distribution of decorations to the cessation of snuff taking. Having a monarch invite one to take a pinch from his snuff box was a mark of distinction that was almost equivalent to having onea's ear pulled by Napoleon. At the coronation of George IV of England, Messrs. Rundell and Bridge, the court jewelers, were paid 8,205 pounds sterling for snuff boxes as gifts to foreign representatives. Today snuff boxes are collected at many levels a'' at the top of the market they tend to be called agold boxesa The most expensive are French and German 18th century examples, and the record auction price for a German box is about $1.3 million U.S. paid in 2003 at Christiea's Auction in London. On 5th July 2011, the most important collection of porcelain snuff boxes assembled in the 20th century sold for a fantastic a1,700,000 at Bonhams, London. The top lot was a magnificent made for Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. After a protracted bidding battle on the telephones the hammer finally came down on the staggering price of a860,000. This is a world record price for a porcelain snuff box at auction.