Cire perdue snuff bottle
In addition to pipe smoking, sniffing tobacco is another widely used habit. Even in countries where the pipe is a dominant smoking instrument, this habit is alternated with the sniffing of powdered tobacco. This bottle, exactly eleven centimeters high, is a good example of the use of snuff in Africa. It is made of bronze in the cire perdue method. The original object is moulded in wax. This wax model is packaged in clay and after heating, the clay hardens while the wax melts and runs away. In this way a simple mould is obtained which, filled with bronze, results in this object. The geometric decoration is striking with on both circular bellies a beautiful spiral that springs from a button in the middle and extends to the outer edge where it merges into a cable edge. To preserve the aroma of the tobacco, the bottle is closed with a wooden stopper, which is still present with this specimen. In addition to these bottles, bronze tobacco pipes manufactured in a similar way are smoked in the same culture. Although it is said to be a typical object for the Grasslands of Cameroon, they are also attributed to the Vere in eastern Nigeria. This might count as a proof that items intended for a specific use are sold by traders to remote areas and are in the end appropriated there.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 21.180
Archive object of month