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Odens and Siberia by the roll.

Wentworth Pewter Snuffbox

I received my new snuffbox from Wentworth Pewter this morning. Here's the email I just sent them.....

"Good morning,

I received the snuffbox this morning after ordering Thursday night, which is absolutely fantastic service. It's a really lovely looking, sturdy feeling, and well engraved box too ..... but it's totally unusable?.

I don't expect a pewter snuffbox to be completely air tight, but the gaps on the hinge on this box are so bad you can actually see inside, and the snuff just pours out through it. I'll end up with snuff filled pockets, and whatever is left in the tin would be spoiled in hours.? I sacrificed a bit of snuff for demonstration purposes, and have attached pictures of the issue.

Is this just a rogue box, or is this typical? I don't want you to go to the trouble and cost of replacing it if the next one will be unusable too?."



I'll keep you updated.......


  • Those pewter snuff boxes are tabletop snuffboxes, they are too big and heavy and leaky to put in the pocket but are beautiful and functional table decos
  • I don't mind the size and weight. Any smaller and you wouldn't be able to pinch from it properly. Would you say those hinge gaps are typical of other pewter boxes?

    I've been looking at it closely, and think I may be able to improve it with a little modification. I'll wait to see what the factory says first about how it compares with what they would consider "normal"
  • I don't know if the gaps are normal, but I would agree with NIN that this is a tabletop box only.

    I have some paper mache boxes that seal very well for their age, but I don't plan on using them.
  • AamonAamon Member
    edited January 2017 PM
    How much did this snuffbox cost? Im looking for a desktop snuffbox
  • It cost 23 pounds (GBP) including delivery. I was hoping it would be a nice yet affordable "dress" snuffbox for when my frequently carried plastic boxes might not be smart enough. Here's a pic of size comparison with a few more recognisable items.


    My desktop snuff box has been the Sharrow heartwood box for quite a while. It's size isn't prohibitive, but the lid isn't secure enough for pocket carry.
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Moderator
    edited January 2017 PM
    ^ for those heartwood boxes if you coat the edges of the lid in beeswax it seals alot better and it doesnt slide open so easily so you can carry it in the pocket without worry.
  • Duly noted 9". I may give that a try, thank you.

    Back to the pewter box, was I unreasonable in calling the box unusable, based on the size of the gaps at the hinge? Please note, the yellow around the outer rim is just a reflection.

  • I would say that it is unusable for snuff storage. Especially if you intend to carry it on your person. I wouldn't use it at any rate.
  • Thanks Sandwich.
  • I would say that the older ones, say 20 years or more seal better. You may want to try bee's wax to help it seal better. I would return it to the manufacturer for one that seals better, and yes you may be out for postage
  • I saw this one up for sale not too long ago, it looks like its a similar design wasnt sure if it was a snuff box. 
  • @tboyer Unfortunately I think this is beyond the help of beeswax. It might be worth having a play though

    @Aamon Same manufacturer. They do that one which they call country scene, the plain one I have, and a patterned one
  • @Aamon I have that exact snuffbox, it is only suitable for tabletop use.  I got mine from a prePACT now defunct snuffstore and it was sold as a "Sharrow Hunting Scene" pewter snuffbox
  • Folks, the older snuff boxes seem to do well. I bought one antique from Toque and others from Etsy. The really old paper mache boxes still close tightly and I wouldn't hesitate to use them were they not antiques. However, the paper mache boxes are fairly inexpensive and could be used daily in the pocket were one careful.
  • A jeweler could fix it but would cost double the original cost. Or you could try to fix it yourself .you would need a new pin for the hinge. You could try tapping the hinge back but that would just make the front loose.
    Some of my Pewter boxes the top three are Edwin Blyde  Two hunt scene on bottom one was made for F&T the other made for Wilson of Sharrow LL456 . All seal well I only use dry snuff in them, but peoples first whiff of contents they say it smell of ammonia so I suppose it is keep them fresh.     20170115_111835
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Nice array of boxes there Shaman. =D>

    I have plenty of options for daily carry, I was just hoping that this may have been an affordable dress option for more formal occasions. Not to worry though, even if tomorrow the factory say that's as good as they get, I've still gained a very nice tabletop box.

    I don't have the disposable income to take gambles on antiques, and they are generally outside of my price range anyway. However, I can wax up the Sharrow slidebox as suggested above, or even use my dark blue Rococo box. It's not a complete disaster.
  • I would heat the hinge with a mapp gas torch and tap it with a piece of hard wood to close the gap. If you don't want to try that then I would try clear nail polish and apply layers to build up a strong fill. For visual on the under side of the hinge.

    Those Rococo boxes take paint quite well. you could even decoupage them with a risque  miniature painting. after you sand off the helmet guy of course .   
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Nice ideas :-bd
  • 50ft_trad50ft_trad Member
    edited January 2017 PM
    I got this reply through from the sales office this morning.....

    "Let me have a word with our guys in the factory. I will get back to you this morning. I am sure we can make a better box for you. To me this doesn't look right!"

    Hopefully a replacement with better hinge is on the cards
  • 50ft_trad50ft_trad Member
    edited January 2017 PM
    Wow these guys are good! They've contacted me again with this email......

    "We have looked at how we have always made the boxes and there is always a noticeable gap around the hinge part, obviously no one has ever told us this is unusable before and we have been making them for years !
    We are attempting to make you a new one and making it more air tight, although it is proving to be quite difficult I am optimistic that we have found a solution. I will send you this one out later this week if you wouldnt mind testing it for us ?
    Thank you for bringing it to our attention, hopefully this will work out ok."

    How good is that!

    I have replied to them and agreed to be test pilot for their tweaks. I've also given them some insights into why hinge gap matters. As a thank you, I have also pointed them in the direction of a few companies who might be interested in buying branded snuffboxes. You know who you are ;) So maybe more people might benefit from this little exercise.
  • Well, I'm glad you brought it to their attention and I'm honestly amazed at the quick and positive response. It would be great if they sorted this and started selling a respectable airtight box. If they really become tight useful boxes at a reasonable price I would buy several, especially branded ones.
  • I heard back from them again today, and they have made a new box. Based on my previous email to them, they are not convinced that they've managed to improve it enough, but they are going to send it to me to assess anyway.

    I have had my own thoughts about addressing the problem, so I might actually go and pay them a visit. They genuinely sound like they want to fix the problem, and not just for me. If I can help them achieve that, I will
  • Good update 50ft. It's great to hear of a company that honestly wants to please their consumers. A trend which is fortunately and amazingly common amongst the snuff community.
  • edited January 2017 PM
    All they need to do is chamfer both edges of the lid where the barrel hinges touch. And a stronger pin.  for a better seal on the underside of the lid they could use a Polytetrafluoroethylene coating where the lid meets the base rim.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • imageFor the do it  yourself-er  Prep the area first, remove age with steel wool and wash with acetone. Wear gloves so no skin oils come in contact.   Use a small paint brush, to create a tight seal under the lid apply thin coat in one direction only, do not try to add more or back stroke while uncured ; More layers can be added later if necessary.  Make sure it is completely dry before closing the lid. This is for the underside of the top lid, only where it contacts the rim.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Gold wash the inside   
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • I don't have the spare funds for those kind of mods, but I might add a bit of beeswax around the underside of the lid.

    I now have the replacement box, which isn't quite as pretty as the original (nearly, but not quite) but has less gaps around the hinge. I've given this a good clean with dish soap to remove the factory smell, but there's still a noticable metallic tang to the box. Is there a way of deodorising pewter, or does it always retain that scent? Should I sacrifice a bit of an F&T snuff to overpower it?

    As an aside @basement_shaman Edwin Blyde are still in business, but no longer do snuffboxes. As it turns out, they are also on the same road as Wentworth Pewter.
  • @50ft_trad would you be able to upload a photo of the new improved box? Possibly Bicarb soda, ive heard its great at removing that factory smell, I did this with my DaVinci vape. Though you'd want to make sure that these wont react with the pewter
  • IMG_20170122_163424_600_450


    That's a 5g WoS tin for size comparison. I'm not going to take a chance with bicarb, as I can't find anything definitive that I trust. I've washed it thoroughly twice, and left it open to air. Time to add snuff. If Aniseed and Eucalyptus doesn't obliterate the scent, I don't know what will ;)
  • Stuff it full of newspaper overnight.  The smell should be gone by morning unless it is VERY persistent.
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