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Slate tobacco jar, United Kingdom, 1877-1879

This tobacco jar is likely to have been placed on a table at social engagements for everyone to use. Such large and elaborate tobacco jars were a symbol of wealth. Made from slate, the jar has been lacquered and painted on the front and back with flowers. The sides feature domestic scenes, including a man taking snuff and another being served with a feast of a pig’s head. The lid bears the date “10 August 1879”.

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Glossary: tobacco

No description.

Glossary: tobacco jar

No description.

Glossary: snuff

Tobacco that has been finely powdered. Snuff is usually sniffed through the nose, or applied to the gums with a finger.

Glossary: lacquer

A varnish that dries by the process of evaporation to provide a hard, protective finish.