In the Victorian era, pipe smokers kept their tobacco in a decorative tobacco jar or humidor. Figural tobacco jars were produced mainly in ceramic, typically heads or full figures of people and animals, generally 12 inches or less in height. Most such jars were produced in Bohemia and Germany in the middle to late Victorian era, when pipe smoking replaced snuff as the preferred means of using tobacco.
Johann Maresch of Aussig, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic), was one of the top producers of figural tobacco jars. They are still known for having made some of the finest, and hence most collectible, humidors.
Horowitz, Joseph L. “What Are Figural Tobacco Jars?” The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles. September 2000. http://www.journalofantiques.com/featursept.htm (3 September 2002).