Puzzle Snuff Balls


These are found in many sizes. The big one opposite is 72mm diameter and the small one 25mm. The central one is a nice example of Tunbridge ware from the mid-nineteenth century.


To open, it is necessary to push on the right spot, in the correct manner, so that a "plug" comes out. The plug then opens or unscrews.

Often described as drug smugglers balls , they were actually more commonly used for snuff.

Described by Hoffmann as "The Ebony Puzzle Ball" or "Indian Puzzle Ball" they were, from 1890 until around 1914, often sized to take a dozen shillings or sovereigns. This one can accommodates 26 Spade Guinea gaming counters.

This one contained a tiny ivory
Communion Set.

2007 Index

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