UPDATE 15.3.17: This item is no longer available
This is a really interesting item. This style of tobacco or snuff tin was popular at around 1800 and this is a particularly nice example.
The engraving on the front refers to the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and is marked “HMS VICTORY” on the upper top face and then “H Gamer AB 1805” on the lower edge of the face. AB was the shortening of the term “Able Seaman” at that time.
I have checked with the Grenwich Maritime Museum library department who have the ships roster for the battle and unfortunately H Garner was not aboard. The was however a Garner registered as crew on the Phoebe in 1805 and it seems likely that this belonged to him. The engraving is very likely to be a celebratory commemorative items produced at the time where you could have your name and post engraved on a souvenir. On the other hand it really could be from the HMS Victory as records are not exhaustive or complete from this era. Its very hard to know so if YOU know from a reference piece of your own then please do get in touch and enlighten us.
In terms of authenticity of age it has all the right features i.e. a worn stippled world map on the rear which can just be seen on close inspection; its tin lined and… well, all in all, anyopne would really stuggle to reproduce the obvious multiple signs of age on this item. The other thing of course is that if you were going to go to the trouble of faking such a thing its would be idiotic to put a name on the tin that was not on the official roster available at Grenwich for public enquiry.
Please feel free to use the picture of this item on your own blog or special interest site – digital rights are rescinded for these two photographs. If you do use the pictures we would really appreciate a mention or attribution on your site or blog.