Maasai Snuff Box SB.1.58

Maasai Snuff Box SB.1.58

Snuff Box
Container / Snuffbox. Maasai. Kenya. No 27. XI.E.8. Original list: "Maasai. Snuff box. Leather, beads, iron, aluminum, plant fiber, elephant ivory. Man, warrior". Small carved ivory container, surrounded by a chiseled ornamental frieze, the lower end of which is cut into a button. The button serves as an attachment point for an ornamental device formed by three strings of small multicolored glass beads. The container is also provided with two pearl side handles through which an iron chain has passed, itself connected to a leather cap decorated with pearls and a button. The chain also has an ornamental aluminum plate, reminiscent of a bat by its shape. Containers of this type, commonly called "snuff boxes" are very often hunting trophies and prestigious objects which may contain snuff, but also other substances (gunpowder, herbs or medicinal powders etc.). "The tocacco leaf (...) is processed for snuff by being dried, crushed, and mixed with fat (and sometimes natron). Implemant for snuff-taking include special nose clips and small containers for carrying the snuff. (... The container of worn as ornaments and are treasured possesions. The value of this example is emphasized by the fact that is it made of ivory, which can be obtained only by extraordinary efforts. The hunter who killed an elephant was traditionally afforded honors, and the highly prized tusks were cut up to become bracelets, ear or lip ornaments, or snuff containers. As the ivory ages it develops a warm brown patina that is highly regarded, and owners cherish the small cracks and imperfections that develop over time "( EC Burt. Seattle Art Museum. 1985: 25).
Category: Snuff Box
Material: Elephant ivory. Leather Cap. Glass beads and aluminum ornaments. Plant fiber. Iron chain.
Location: Kenya
Dimensions in Centimeters:
Length: 8
Width: 5
Height: 5
Other dim .: Full code list: W: 5 H: 8

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Stephane Brosset

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