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Gold box was up to snuff; Under the Hammer.

Byline: by Mike Litherland, Outhwaite & Litherland

AN IMMACULATE gold snuff box still in its presentation case caught my eye last Tuesday (pictured).

It was inscribed to Samuel Horrocks and dated 1811, so I decided to put my detective hat on and find out more.

Man's needs and the experiments he hasto make towards stimulating his senses artificially, doubtless stretches back into the realms of unrecorded civilisations.

Christopher Columbus first noticed American Indians snuffing an unknown powder, the substance was tobacco.

Columbus brought guantities of the powder back to Europe, where it guickly became fashionable.

Snuff became firmly enrooted as the tobacco product of choice as gradually the common man came to know the pleasures of snuff too, and snuff mills were established across England in cities such as London, Sheffield and Manchester. Retailers caught the bug as well.

Throughout the 18th and19th centuries snuff production boomed, far outstripping smoking tobacco.

During the 20th Century snuff declined considerably in popularity

Throughout history in the 18th and 19th centuries, the snuff box was more generally owned than a timepiece, sometimes two and even three were carried.

Snuff boxes were made in a great variety of materials, from gold and silver through precious mineral stones such as lapis, lazuli, jade, bloodstone or agate to the more readily available tortoiseshell or (very common) horn.

Whilst most snuff boxes were for personal use, a smaller number were given as presentations to communal groups to be made use of 'around a table' at City Guild and Company meetings.

This snuff box was 18ct gold and a gift to Samuel Horrocks, 1766-1842. Samuel Horrocks was one of the most successful cotton manufacturers in Preston.

Samuel Horrocks was born in Edgworth, near Bolton in 1766. He was mayor from 1801-1802 and in 1804 Samuel became MPfor Preston, he was MP for 22 years. He died aged 76 in 1842.

With such an illustrious Provenance its no wonder it realised pounds 1930 at our auction.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 16, 2007
Words:326
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