Originally a 'pillegift' was a present for princes and princesses at the occasion of their christening. In most cases it was a gold box containing a letter of interest. For example, Prince Willem II of Orange was presented a letter of interest by the 'Staaten Generaal' which said he would receive 8000 florins a year for the rest of his life. The community also presented a 'pillegift' to a prince or princess. Eminent members of society usually presented valuable objects in silver or gold.
Since the present lot is inscribed 'S.B.C.' and 'Out 1 Jaar 1791' it is most probable that this tobacco-box was used as a 'pillegift'.
In modern times such a christening gift is presented by the godfather and the godmother to the new born child after he or she is christened. In most cases it will be a silver spoon, beaker or a gold medal.