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Snuff bottle

Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Opaque white glass with an overlay of red glass, carved in relief

  • Credit Line:

    Boone 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 gourd form with no stopper.
It is made of opaque white glass with an overlay of red glass carved in relief.
The decoration consists of a continuous design of a flowering plant, bamboo, magic fungus, rocks and a bat.
The foot is formed by the overlay and it has an angular indentation underneath.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1750-1900 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Opaque white glass with an overlay of red glass, carved in relief


Height: 5.6 cm

Descriptive line

Opaque white glass snuff bottle with an overlay of red glass, carved in relief, China, ca.19th century

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

Flowers (plants); Bamboo; Rock; Bat (animal); Fungus


ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories; Glass


East Asia Collection

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