Gold snuff boxes
Gold snuff boxes are collectible and potentially valuable boxes designed to carry snuff, a type of smokeless tobacco.
The popularity for gold snuff boxes emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries throughout Europe alongside the rise in use of snorting snuff.
Some of the most collectible models were produced in France and Germany.
Many of the boxes were designed as an ostentatious display of taste and wealth, far beyond their use simply as a functional item.
Value and notable sales of gold snuff boxes
The value of gold snuff boxes can vary significantly depending on the amount of gold contained within the box and the price of gold at the time of the sale. Some of the most decorative pieces can sell for vast sums.
The record for a snuff box at auction is £789,250, achieved at a Christie’s London auction in 2003. The price went to a Christian Gottlieb designed box, produced in Dresden around 1770 to 1775.
A German four-colour gold hunting snuff-box achieved £121, 250 at Christie’s London in 2008.
A Louis XV four-colour gold snuff-box, made by Jean George, made £65,725 at Christie’s London in 2003.