Snuff container, South Africa

This snuff container is a flawlessly-executed ovoid – an outstanding example of the refined, abstract style seen in many objects from southern Africa. Its lustrous, pearlescent and brown surface recalls a seed-like shape. Fashioned from animal horn, it is both a pleasure for the eye and a tactile delight when handled. Balanced on a slightly truncated base, matched at its top end by a similarly flattened surface, and sealed with a small hemispherical stopper, the final silhouette is one of consummate elegance. A small aperture halfway down one side has been drilled, through which a cord or thong was threaded so that it could be worn around the neck. Beyond its southern African provenance, it is a challenge to pinpoint a more precise place of origin.

Late 19th century
Height: 2 in

Kevin Conru, Brussels

Private Belgium collection

Item Number:
Click To Enlarge

Keep In Touch

Stay up to date on new acquisitions, collections, updates, and more.
Thank you, we'll be in touch.
Apologies—something went wrong. Please try again.