Last week’s What Is It? item, from Archive Antiques in New Town, was a snuff spoon carved from whale bone.
Peter Brown confirmed my suspicions that the tiny holes in the spoon were to allow air to flow through the spoon, making inhaling the stuff an easier process. Keith Brown was the fastest in with the correct answer, promptly followed by Peter Brown, Adrian Jack, Isobel Williams and Judi Brettoner. And while sniffing snuff isn’t exactly the nicest of habits others suggested it might be used for even more intimate practices such as for removing earwax, or even a nose picker!