Station: [22] F – Snuff Bottles

  • Glasmuseum Wertheim


In around 1500, a monk called Romano Pane who landed on the island of Haiti with Columbus reported the existence of a strange local ritual: whenever the people asked their gods for advice, they sniffed a herb up their noses. 200 years later this herb was to outstrip all other colonial goods like coffee, tea or cane sugar in popularity.


One of the first snuff users was the French Queen Katharina de Medici, who also introduced perfume to Europe. She inhaled the powdered tobacco leaves to help her migraines and this made snuff at acceptable at court. It was sold and kept in small containers known as „Tabatièren“, or in small glass bottles known as snuff bottles. In the 18th century at the latest these became a decorative trinket in society.