Carved Coquilla Ship Snuff Box

Carved Coquilla Ship Snuff Box


A carved and polished Coquilla Nut Snuff Box in the form of a ship.

The nut is finely carved showing numerous cannon ports with their guns to each side, shells to the hull, a figure head of Poseidon on a scallop shell and the cabin to the back of the ship. The lid is carved with four bearded Greek warriors with their captain to the foreground. The mixing of an early 19th century battleship with the soldiers is curious. It's possible that the Snuff Box was carved by a French prisoner of war or a sailor and the figures refer to an ancient myth or legend.

There is a hole to the middle of the hull and this probably took a mount to enable the ship to stand without tipping. The lid is carved with a lip to the interior edge to give a good fit to the ship but cannot be fixed in place. This suggests the snuff box was always meant for table use which would also tie in with it sitting on a mount or stand. The ship's quarter deck area looks to be an old, replaced piece of carving and doesn't enjoy the detailed carving that the rest of the ship does.

The Coquilla nut is the fruit of the Brazilian Palm and very hard so some skill was needed to carve it so intricately. The nut has been used by a number of different groups and nationalities to make a wide variety of small items. This snuff box has a deep mahogany colour and a deep patina. Early 19th Century.


Height 4.44 cm / 1 "
Width 14.6 cm / 5 34"
Depth 4.44 cm / 1 "

Early 19th Century.


Coquilla Nut

Receiving Orders

Quarter Deck is a historic replacement