Victorian Papier Mache Pocket Snuff Box with Donkeys, c. 1880

19th Century, circa 1880
Papier Mache
6cm x 3cm x 2cm
Standard Parcel
Victorian papier mâché pocket snuff box with a scene of two donkeys facing each other over a fence, with an inscription below, ‘when shall we three meet again‘. Circa 1880.
The box opens and closes smoothly with a hinged lid. Minor losses to the edge of the image, otherwise in good condition.
By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, there were at least 25 companies producing papier mâché items. Papier mache is paper pasted on both sides and firmly pressed over greased moulds before being baked in a hot oven. The object is repeatedly built up with layer after layer until the required thickness was achieved. Once thoroughly dry, the item was saturated in linseed oil and baked in a very hot oven to make it hard and water-resistant. In the 19th century, papier mâché was used for everything from coach doors and ceilings to piano cases and bedroom sets.