The oldest snuff boxes known to exist today are made out of horn. There are some Finnish and Norwegian snuff boxes made out of horn that actually are just hollowed out horns. However, all other horn boxes will not resemble an actual animal’s horn. A large section of horn is cut out then boiled so that it is malleable. It is then molded into one half of a snuff box. After the box is made then it is engraved. John Obrisset is by far the most famous snuff box maker working in the horn medium. His boxes are highly prized by several different English museums.
Horn quickly lost favor once precious metals were first introduced for snuff boxes. Horn reported smells terrible when it is being boiled and the eye appeal of a horn snuff box really doesn’t compete with that other fine boxes.