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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Collections -Pill Boxes and Snuff Bottles

What is it about the human species, that we love to collect things? Some people just choose one thing to focus on but the majority of us probably have a few collections going on at the same time. I know I do.

 My books are probably my biggest collection. I would estimate I have around 3000 books ( and those were just the ones I kept, I've read alot more than that!) Over time I have built a library of self sufficiency. I have books on gardening, raising livestock, herbal medicine, off-grid living, alternative medical treatments, first aid, arts, crafts, survival skills, self-help, spirituality and alternative lifestyles. I'd probably have alot more but most of my reading has been online for the last ten years which has kept me out of the bookshops.

Musical instruments is another interest of mine. Years ago when I lived in a large home in town, I used to host music jams twice a month. I had as many as 60-70 people at my house all playing something. My weapon of choice was the hand drum and percussion instruments like shakers etc. At one time I had quite a large collection of drums but sold ten of the best ones to pay for my van which at the time I desperately needed for work. I still have a handful of drums and a large basket filled with shakers and noise makers of all kinds. I also used have 5 guitars ranging from 12 string acoustic to electric and bass. They have long  since been sold off and I am down to one crappy thrift store 6 string. I can't really play any more as the callouses don't go over well in my line of work ( massage therapy)

I also have collections of painted rocks, candlesticks, funky lamps, cherubs, dishes and bells which will be the subject of other posts once my renos are done and I can finish unpacking.

Today's post is brought to you by pill boxes and snuff bottles.

The other day I was looking on Craigslist and found an ad for 14 pill boxes for ten dollars ( the whole collection, not each). I couldn't resist a deal like that so went and picked them up. I have one of those old printers drawers with tons of cubbyholes and I was looking for something small to put in them. These seemed like a good a choice as any. I also had a few snuff bottles and other tiny containers kicking around so rounded them up for a photo shoot. Here's my collection so far, now I have something else to keep an eye out for when I am thrifting!

I'm not sure if any of these are worth anything, but of the bunch these two looked the oldest

Here's the rest in the box they came in

This one is inlaid abolone shell ( or Paua shell if your from New Zealand) and mother -of -pearl
A teenie, tiny cloisonne apple that opens up
A beautiful tigers eye set in a heavily carved box that I don't think is gold, but it doesn't look anything like modern day brass

A small wooden box with a ship painted on it
The tigers eye again
A sea shell with a tin top

A beautiful enameled box

A very tiny woven basket

 This one is my favorite, a small silver box with abalone lid

Mother of pearl
Mother of pearl and abolone

A painting of a seated woman

Not sure what this stone is, Jasper maybe?
I noticed when I tured it around that the natural markings in the stone almost look like a painting of mountains and a valley

 This is the bottom of the same box, very heavily etched
A silver box I bought in China, love the heavy relief carving of dragons!
A bone snuff bottle that I have owned for over thirty years. If it wasn't an antique when I bought it, it's on it's way to becoming one
Bone and silver snuff bottle found at the thrift store the other day

A tiny container carved from a tagua nut
Small brass and enamel boxes with creme perfume in them

Now just have to find that shelf so I can display them all!

So what do you like collect? and why?


  1. Paper, I have thousands of sheets of it. Actually I'm a mixed media artist and I can't seem to stop buying it.
    It looks like you have a beautiful collection.
    I always enjoy reading your posts and have been on pins and needles wondering if you have a place to live or not? What's happening to your dream?

  2. Hi Roz,thanks for the sweet comments. Unfortunatly I don't have any good news as of yet. I spent the best part of a week on the phone with every marina in BC to no avail. We are still waiting for the final sale of this place to go through,it's basically a done deal but until we have the money in our hands( end of the month) and all parties (including the land owner) signed off even that is up in the air.

    We are scrambling to think of every option available to us and which scenario would suit us best. We have found places that are zillions of miles in the wilderness which sound interesting but I still need to work and don't want to be that isolated from the world.

    We are trying to find land to haul it up on, but waterfront property is so expensive that option is somewhat unlikely. Besides my house would have to pass inspection which it most likely wouldn't do without a ton of money thrown at it.(which we don't have)

    Probably the only thing that will work is to form another company and rent water space as a business with the house being the "office". Until we get the money from the sale we can't approach any of the water leases to make a bid, so right now it's a wait and see scenario.

    I've never been so scared in my life, my heart is in my throat and I feel sick thinking I might lose this place, so right now I'm basically in denial. I will keep on with my renos, keep dreaming my dream and pray that something suitable turns up. All I can do is try and not give up, then it's up to the universe to provide if it is meant to be.

    Trust me, the minute I know the house is safe you all will be the first to know.In the meantime please say a prayer for us that all turns out well, much appreciated, xo Rhianna

  3. I have one of those carved tag nuts and I'm looking to find more u know where I can get some

  4. I saw them in China and Hong Kong when I was travelling there but after doing a quick search online I found sites where you can order them. Here is one

    here is another

    Read this article by Wikipedia on "Netsuke" they are small carved objects made from many different materials but tagua nut is one of them. Tagua is also called vegetable ivory

    Googling images for either tagua nut or nesuke will show you tons of different carvings and lead you to sites where you can purchase them. Good luck, would love to see what you come up with!

  5. These things are amazingly very beautiful like them very much, nice sharing buddy..
    Visit my blog: oakham loans


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