|Silver Snuff Box with Built-in Steel Grater, 1700|
Made in Britain
The Victoria & Albert Museum
A box with a hinged lid and two compartments, this snuff grater was designed to hold a block of compressed powdered snuff in the smaller compartment while the larger compartment, fitted with a perforated grater, would have held the grated snuff powder. The lid was made to close very tightly—an essential state for keeping snuff dry and sniff-able.
Boy, but that just sounds like terrible stuff. Nevertheless, it was quite popular and it made for some attractive containers and tools like this one. The lid of this grater is engraved with the monogram “HE” for the Edmonds family of Yorkshire, and with the family crest of a three-masted ship in full sail. It was made around 1700.