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Snuff bottle

Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mottled white glass with an overlay of red glass carved in relief

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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.

Physical description

The bottle is a round flattened flask form with no stopper.
It is made of mottled white glass with an overlay of red glass carved in relief.
"The woodcutter and the fisherman converse". On the reverse there are two children in a building; a boy on a buffalo, playing a pipe, crossing a bridge. A pine tree grows from a rock spannning both sides of the bottle; bamboo grows from a rock with clouds overhead.
The foot has an angular indentation underneath formed by red overlay.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1750-1895 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Mottled white glass with an overlay of red glass carved in relief


Height: 5.5 cm

Descriptive line

mottled white glass snuff bottle with an overlay of red glass carved in relief, China, 1750-1895

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

White, Helen. Snuff Bottles from China. London: Bamboo Publishing Ltd in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992. 291p., ill. ISBN 1870076109.



Subjects depicted

Woodcutter; Fisherman; Bridges (built works); Buffalo


ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories; Glass


East Asia Collection

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