This antique shell snuff or hairpin box inlaid with mother of pearl is a beautiful and unique item from the past. Snuff boxes were commonly used in the 18th and 19th centuries to store and dispense snuff, a type of finely ground tobacco that was inhaled through the nose. Hairpin boxes were used to store and organize hairpins, which were used to secure hairstyles in place.
The use of shell and mother of pearl in the construction of the box adds to its beauty and value. Mother of pearl is a material made from the inner layer of certain types of shells, prized for its iridescent sheen and durability. The intricate inlay work on the box would have been done by hand, making each box a unique and beautiful work of art.