Amazing 19th C. Sailor Made Table Snuff Box with Rollable Dice Encased in Sole!

Regular price $475.00

I splurged on this one, and will be more than glad to keep it for myself, but of course I have at least to share it. Feels a bit like the 19th century predecessor of a Magic 8 ball, with a round window in the toe of the sole providing a peephole view to three carved bone dice inside, which one can "roll" by shaking the shoe. Surely always lucky! Sailor made I presume, with bone buttons up the front of the boot and decorating both the center and perimeter of the lid. This would have functioned as a tabletop (much too large for a pocket!) snuff box and I'd think this one lived in a parlor or club where game playing was the thing. Whether American or British I am not completely certain, but found in New England I might guess the former, and the manner of the carving feels more American to me. With brass nails around the perimeter of the toe plate and all over the heel too.

5 3/4” l x 4” t x 1 5/8” w and in very good antique condition, I'd guess 1880s or so. There is one tiny carved bone bit missing from the perimeter of the lid (which fits snugly on top) and perhaps there was once a pull at the very center of that lid.