Snuff Bottle

1750-1895 (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

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
Materials and Techniques
Opaque white glass, with an overlay of blue glass carved in relief
Brief Description
Glass snuff bottle, opaque white, with an overlay of blue glass carved in relief, China, ca.19th century
Physical Description
The bottle is a rounded flattened flask form, the shoulders sloping up to a cylindrical neck and no stopper.

It is made of glass, opaque white with white flecks, with an overlay of blue glass carved in relief.

The decoration depicts a catfish and lotus plants above waves. On the reverse there is a crab clinging to a water plant.

The high splayed foot is partly formed by the overlay and there is an angular indentation underneath.
Dimensions
  • Height: 5.6cm
Style
Credit line
Salting Bequest
Subjects depicted
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 Reference
White, Helen. Snuff Bottles from China. London: Bamboo Publishing Ltd in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992. 291p., ill. ISBN 1870076109.
Collection
Accession Number
C.1528-1910

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record createdJuly 7, 1998
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