A Scottish rams horn snuff mull with distinguished provenance; engraved atop of the hinged lid is a finely executed prancing horse and inscription: NORTH BERWICK STAKES DIVIDED BY RED TD.; DOG, “VICTIM” DIRLETON, 1868; although the cap features an engraved horse, this snuff mull was bestowed as a trophy to the owner of a dog, possibly puppies, competing in hare coursing competitions. Scottish circa 1868 1
height: 5 in. 13 cm., width: 9.5 in. 24 cm., depth: 8 in. 20 cm.
Further readings and sources:
- Background: “The Coursing Calendar” The Dirleton
and North Berwick Club Meeting of Oct. 6th and 8th 1868, Mr. J.C.
Trotter’s dog “Victim” having a divided victory with another dog.
Coursing is the pursuit of game animals by hounds––greyhounds, whippets, afghans––which hunt by sight rather than smell. The sport was popular in England and Scotland from the late 18th to the late 19th centuries. Traditionally, hare coursing was limited to the wealthy and dates back to as far back as 180 A.D. Dogs were judged as to how well they pursued their quarry in competition with another dog. Meetings took place on a large area of open unfenced grounds so spectators could watch the dogs work; the judge being on horseback. The hare would escape more than two-thirds of the time.