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Snuff bottle

Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Semi-opaque white glass with bubbles and an overlay of red glass, carved in relief

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    C.1642-1910

  • 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 an oval flattened flask form with no stopper. Its neck-hole is wide in relation to the width of the neck walls.
It is made of glass, semi-opaque white, with bubbles and a few white flecks and an overlay of red glass carved in relief.
The decoration depicts a plant with clusters of berries, possibly nandina, and magic fungus enclosed in a circular border formed by overlay. On the reverse there is a flowering plant enclosed in a similar border and masks and mock ring handles on the shoulders.
The high splayed foot is partly formed by overlay and there is a high angular indentation underneath.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1750-1895 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Semi-opaque white glass with bubbles and an overlay of red glass, carved in relief

Dimensions

Height: 5.4 cm

Descriptive line

Glass snuff bottle, semi-opaque white, with bubbles and 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

Ring handle; Fungus; Plants; Masks (costume); Berry

Categories

ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories; Glass

Collection

East Asia Collection

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