Snuff Mull

This early 19th century Ram’s Horn Snuff Mull is said to have been recovered from the field of Waterloo.

Snuff is a form of fermented tobacco which has been mixed with various combinations of perfumed oils, herbs or spices and compressed into a block. The block was then grated to make a fine powder ready for use. It was very popular in the early nineteenth century and snuff mulls could be very elaborate. Some were even made from a ram’s skull! These would often be used for more formal officer’s dinners, and would sit in the middle of the table.

This example has been inscribed on the lid ‘Sgt Anderson’s horn R.N.B DN F. Troop.’ The small hammer and spoon you see were important as the powder would have been scooped out the horn with the spoon, and the hammer then used to break up any large parts of the snuff.