Enjoyed as a luxury among many eighteenth century Virginians including the Washingtons, snuff was often carried in small containers such as this one. Its elegant design belies the indecorous ritual of snorting the powder through the nose and sneezing to clear it out. Martha had a penchant for snuff, much to the chagrin of some of her relatives. In 1799 her grandson-in-law Tomas Law wrote: "I have to thank Mrs. Washington & to be angry at her sending snuff to Eliza-such an attention tho' it envinces her kindness yet it encourages a bad habit." More





Horn, gold, silver, copper alloy


Overall: 7/16 in. x 2 15/16 in. x 15/16 in. (1.09 cm x 7.44 cm x 2.36 cm)


Purchase, 1932
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save