"He searched his bag and brought out his snuff-bottle"

Snuff is ground tobacco and is generally inhaled through the nose, although there are variations in which it can be applied to the gums. It is smokeless, and in European countries in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, it was considered a product for the elite. In Africa however, snuff was used regularly before Europeans had a chance to colonize. It can cause cancer just like normal tobacco.

Snuff is normally stored in bottles (at the time this takes place in Africa). The bottles are small enough to keep in the palm of your hand and are easily stored. The pictures below are of Chinese snuff bottles. 

Snuff bottle
Creative Commons AttributionSnuff bottle - Credit: Elizlenz