Brass tobacco box, rectangular with one labate curly side where lid opens, engraved 'modern prophecy', English, 1801-1900
Used to carry tobacco for chewing or smoking, this pocket-sized brass tobacco box is engraved with the words “Modern Prophecy” and a picture of a strange looking flying machine. Apparently flying by means of flapping wings, this ‘ornithopter’ appears to be steam powered. Such machines would have been a feature of the science fiction of the day.
This type of image is not uncommon on tobacco boxes although it is unclear what it means.