French snuffboxes from the museum Collection repository (video)

The video presents the snuffboxes of the 18th-19th centuries created by the best French artisans from the museum Collection repository.

Snuffboxes - the iconic accessories of the past were widespread and sought-after in Europe for more than two centuries, from the late 17th to the late 19th centuries. The peak of snuffbox fashion fell on in the courteous 18th century, which is sometimes called the "A snuffbox age". It was then that this item became an irreplaceable ceremonial attribute. In those days, the snuffbox was not just a container for storing snuff tobacco, but an extremely fashionable and in-demand thing, a symbol of belonging to a certain strata of society.

The history of the item appearance is interesting - the snuffbox. The French diplomat and scientist Jean Nicot (1530-1604) introduced the custom of sniffing tobacco in 1560. The tobacco he brought to France from Spain was named "Nicotiana" in his honor. In the 17th century, the fashion for snuff tobacco spread in European countries, and in Russia the appearance of tobacco is associated with the reign of Peter I. At the same time, the demand for devices for tobacco storing appeared in order to preserve the aroma and ease of use. Small snuffboxes could be carried in a pocket, but there were also larger snuffboxes that were mounted on special tables or consoles. The demand for snuffboxes was enormous. They were ordered from the best masters, and nothing limited the imagination of the jewelers. The materials used for manufacturing were traditional for elegant handicrafts - gold, silver, ivory, precious stones, porcelain, noble wood species. Thanks to the skillful work of jewelers, a snuffbox was an important accessory to demonstrate the status of the owner.

You can learn more about the collection of snuffboxes and cigarette cases in the on the museum Collection website, in the exposition section “Snuffboxes and cigarette cases”.