Snuff box, South Africa

This snuff box takes the form of an ox and is made of scrapings of animal hide and blood.

The materials were heated to form a pulp, formed round a mould (of clay, sand or even wax), and then pricked out with a fine tool to create a textured surface. It has been left to harden and the mould removed through the large hole to create the container.

Snuff is made from ground tobacco leaves and is usually inhaled through the nose. Europeans introduced snuff to Africa and it remains popular among older generations.

This snuff box was purchased in Oxford by curator Henry Balfour in 1930. 

Accession number: 1930.20.1