In the early 18th century the taking of snuff in courtly circles had developed its own culture. Small snuff-boxes of silver or gold, often set with precious stones, were an unattainable luxury for many, so the use of papier-mâché and lacquer created an acceptable substitute. The leader in the production of such boxes was Johann Heinrich Stobwasser of Lobenstein who opened his factory in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany in 1763. For almost a century it remained the most successful and most widely known producer of lacquered goods in Germany and beyond.
Stobwasser's success was copied by others such as Wilhelm and Johann Stockmann who created a firm trading under the name 'W. Stockmann & Comp.' whose production of lacquered articles of papier-mâché, decorated with reproductions of famous paintings earned the firm, in 1863, the title of 'Court Lacquer Manufacturers.' Wilhelm withdrew from the firm in 1845 and, after his brother's death in 1869 the firm went out of business.
For further information on lacquer boxes see D. Richter, Lacquered Boxes, Pennsylvania, 1989.