Snuff, pulverized tobacco often laced with herbs, aromatic oils, or spices, was enjoyed as a luxury among many Virginians including the Washingtons and was often carried in small containers. This particular example is smaller than most, likely because it is made of gold, a rare commodity in Federal America. Yet, even with limited resources, its maker produced an elegant box. Family history suggests that it was owned by Martha Washington, whose penchant for snuff and stylish accessories was well known. More


c. 1775-1802


  • IL - Maker



Gold, solder


Overall (box): 1/2 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. (1.27 cm x 3.96 cm x 3.96 cm)
Overall (pouch): 2 1/4 in. x 1 1/8 in. x 5/16 in. (5.72 cm x 2.87 cm x 0.79 cm)


Purchased with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. James C. Meade, 2008


Maker's mark stamped in the center of the interior of the lid: "IL".

Object Number



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