Tortoise shell snuff mull with silver fittings, 1869 (c)
In 1859 Joseph Brabazon Pilkington purchased his commission with the 94th Regiment of Foot as an ensign, and then as a lieutenant in 1860. He served with the regiment in India until 1866, when he joined the Ceylon Rifle Regiment for a year. At the time of presentation of this snuff-mull in 1869, Pilkington had sold his commission and returned to civilian life, which is why the title 'Esquire' was used after his name on the lid's inscription.
This snuff mull has two hinged compartments for snuff set on either side of the shell. During the nineteenth century the adaptation of animal remains into commemorative regimental silver pieces, most commonly snuff mulls and ink wells, was often a way of making memento of a celebrated pet or mascot or, as may be the case with this item, it represented a 'souvenir' or trophy of an exotic animal encountered whilst stationed abroad.
NAM Accession Number
Donated by Mrs Kathleen Moutray.
National Army Museum Copyright
National Army Museum, Soldier gallery
Browse related themes