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Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glass, transparent white with small white flecks, with an overlay of red glass, carved in relief

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    C.1563-1910

  • 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 glass, transparent white with small white flecks, with an overlay of red glass carved in relief.
The decoration depicts a traveller riding towards rocks from which magic fungus grows, followed by an attendant carrying a branch of prunus blossom; pine overhead. On the reverse there is a pavilion beside a pine tree, three figures, two holding bottles, one stirring a pot and clouds overhead.
The straight foot is formed by overlay, with an angular indentation underneath.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1750-1895 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Glass, transparent white with small white flecks, with an overlay of red glass, carved in relief

Dimensions

Height: 5.8 cm

Descriptive line

Glass snuff bottle, transparent white with small white flecks, 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.

Materials

Glass

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Pavilions (garden structures); Fungus; Bottle; Prunus; Pot; Rock; Figures (representations); Traveller; Clouds; Trees

Categories

ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories; Glass

Collection

East Asia Collection

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