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Traveller’s Tales

Robert Burns Tales

Snuff box of elm burr

19th Century

This snuff box was presented to Caerlaverock Curling Club by Robert Crocket, to be played for annually.  In the early 1900s it was won repeatedly by Jacob Stoba of Lanarkland Farm, and eventually given to him.


The lid shows a curling scene and on the side there is a verse, much worn:


“He was the king of all the core
To guard or draw or wick a bore
or up the rink like Jehu roar,
In time of need."


This is taken from “Tam Samson’s Elegy” by Robert Burns.


Sniffing snuff was the original method of taking tobacco, first used by indigenous Americans.  The practice came to Europe with the return of Spanish, Portuguese and French explorers during the 1500s. It was in Scotland that the traditions of snuff taking were first established, perhaps because of its close links with France.  It gained acceptance throughout Britain when Charles II brought the custom back from his exile in France.


More tobacco was made into snuff than was used for smoking or chewing until the 1900s.  Everyone took it.  Lord Nelson took large quantities to sea with him, while Napoleon sniffed over three kilos a month.  Physicians made great claims for it, prescribing snuff for headaches, insomnia, toothache, coughs and colds and recommending it as a measure against infection.

wood, elm
height 65mm, width 110mm, depth 65mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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