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

Snuff Bottle

1750-1895 (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
Materials and Techniques
Overlay carved glass
Brief Description
Snuff bottle, overlay carved glass, China, Qing dynasty, 1750-1895
Physical Description
Snuff bottle, rounded flattened glask with cylindrical neck, made of opague white glass with overlay carved decoration of lotus flowers and a fish in red glass, superimposed by lotus leaves, stems and pods in dark green glass, similar design on the reverse with a continuous border of waves around the base and a band of red overlay round the neckrim. Dome-shaped stopper made of pale green glass.
Dimensions
  • Height: 7.1cm
Style
Gallery Label
  • Snuff bottle Qing dynasty 1750-1895 The overlays of red and dark green glass carved in relief highlight the lotus design against the white background. Overlay carved glass Salting Bequest Museum no. C.1537-1910(2009)
  • C.1537-1910 Oval flattened glask form with shoulders sloping upwards to a narrow cylindrical neck, with splayed neckrim; two-part dome-shaped stopper. Glass, opaque white, with overlays of red and dark green glass; stopper of pale blue glass and white glass. Lotus plant and a fish; similar design on reverse; continuous border of waves around the base; band of red overlay around the neckrim. The lotus plants are superimposed on the fish, so that the fish are not immediately obvious; the lotus leaves, stems, and pods and most of hte waves are dark green, the lotus flowers and fish red. Footrim formed by dark green glass overlay, with indentation underneath. 1750-1895 H. 7.1cm Salting Bequest(pre 2005)
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.
Bibliographic References
  • White, Helen. Snuff Bottles from China. London: Bamboo Publishing Ltd in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1992. pp. 166-167, plate 75.
  • Liefkes, Reino (ed). Glass. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1997
Collection
Accession Number
C.1537&A-1910

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record createdJune 17, 1998
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