Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery

Snuff Bottle

1760-1812 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Snuff is powdered tobacco, usually blended with aromatic herbs or spices. The habit of snuff-taking spread to China from the West during the 17th century and became established in the 18th century. People generally carried snuff in a small bottle. By the 20th century these bottles had become collectors' items, owing to the great variety of materials and decorative techniques used in their production.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Snuff Bottle
  • Stopper
Brief Description
Scu, China, carving, jade



Scu, China, carving, jade
Physical Description
The bottle is an oval flattened flask form carved in relief from pale and dark grey nephrite jade with a dome shaped stopper of blue and pink glass coloured to immitate rose quartz.

The decoration depicts a boy riding a buffalo through a rocky place followed by a man with a stick over his shoulder. Also depicted are three sheep. There is an inscirption on the reverse. The dark layer of jade is used effectively for the focal points of the carved decoration and the bottle has a very glassy finish.
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.0cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'Su Wu fang yang' (Chinese; reverse of bottle)
Credit line
Salting Bequest
Summary
Snuff is powdered tobacco, usually blended with aromatic herbs or spices. The habit of snuff-taking spread to China from the West during the 17th century and became established in the 18th century. People generally carried snuff in a small bottle. By the 20th century these bottles had become collectors' items, owing to the great variety of materials and decorative techniques used in their production.
Collection
Accession Number
C.1802&A-1910

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record createdFebruary 3, 1998
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