The Netherlands / Germany, c1757





Also known as a “Dutchman’s Log” and associated with Pieter Holm (1685/6-1776),

the elongated box with rounded end and a hinged lid,

the top engraved with Julius Ceasar, above 45(BC) – the date of the introduction of the Julian calendar,

and Pope Gregory XIII above 1482 – the date of the introduction of the

Gregorian calendar, siding an engraved perpetual calendar; the verso engraved with a man holding a

sphere (tentatively identified as Amerigo Vespucci) above the date 1497 in a round reserve,

above a ship’s speed table, and the Dutch inscription

Geen konst maar rijkdom kan men verliesen, Daarom is konst voor rijkdom te kiezen”

(“Not experience but riches can be lost, therefore let experience prevail above riches”),

the side with script engraving “Reght (Regt) Door Zee”

(the Amsterdam nautical school Holm established in 1737)


Condition: minor imperfections 



The tables inscribed on the seaman’s tobacco were intended as an aide-de-mémoire for sailors

and navigators. With the first table it was easy to work out the weekday and the lunar age for any

calendar date. The second table enabled the seaman to obtain a rough estimate for the ship’s speed

from which the daily progress of the ship could be calculated.  A guide can be found online through




Also see Pieter Holm and his Tobacco Box (Marine Historical Association, Mystic

[Connecticut], 1953 (a PDF 28-page copy available online)


 1 1/8”H x 6 3/8”W x 1 7/8”D

















Also See :


George III Brass Tobacco Box & Pipe Carrier
England c1790, with three compartments


For our silver snuff boxes, please see :




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Dutch Brass Seaman's Tobacco Box of Pieter Holm, (Dutchman's Log) The Netherlands/Germany, c1757