The taking of snuff by both men and women was once considerably more fashionable than it is today and containers for storage of snuff were varied and made from a range of materials, horn being a popular choice. The artefacts shown here demonstrate the many forms these containers took (1 - 12) and the different materials used to decorate them including gold (13), mother of pearl (14), tortoiseshell (15) and silver (16).
Changing fashions towards the end of the 18th century saw the rise in popularity of snuff mulls or containers made from the tip end of the ox horn (17) with the tip being heated and turned into a scroll to prevent it making holes in the pocket. To maintain the profile of the horn required considerable skill. Examples here are decorated with semi-precious stones (18 & 19).
Pipe smoking tobacco required different storage. Decorative pressed boxes were popular and a number of horn workers became renowned for their work in this area. Many examples shown here are the work of John Obrissett, an eminent Huguenot carver working between 1705 - 1728. Royal portraits and notable figures of the day were popular subjects for depiction (20 - 25).
Horn was also commonly used for other smoking related items (26 - 29) such as cigar and cigarette holders, cigar cutters and pipes.