Of well figured lignum vitae, the hollowed-out globular body raised on a turned and threaded
pedestal base (for filling) and
surmounted by a turned ivory spire-form spout with screw-off cover (for removal)
Ref : Pinto, Treen and Other Wooden Bygones, p. 347, and Pl. 369,
where the relationship of these flasks with Chinese snuff bottles is discussed,
noting that this flask form is considered Scandinavian, but usually turned from birchwood or maple.
Note : This rather irresistible snuff flask is of ‘lignum vitae’, a dense wood imported from the West Indies.
Also known as “ironwood”, it was first brought to Europe from the Indies about 1515.
At that time, it was thought to cure venereal disease, which unfortanetly it did not.
In England, as early as the 17th century Stuart period, lignum vitae was often used by “turners” as drinking vessels,
and mortarsand pestles, oil content making it resistant to liquids.
Other uses have included rigging for ships, croquet mallets, skittles, and police clubs,
as its high as the wood is not only water resistant, but quite strong.
The figuration of light and dark coloration is always very desirable.
Condition : Excellent, with minor staining to the ivory spout cap, and a small loss of the rim edge
3.25” High, the Body 1.75” Wide