Snuff Bottle thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Snuff Bottle

1750-1909 (made)
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
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Snuff Bottle
  • Stopper
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Glass snuff bottle, opaque white, with overlay of blue glass carved in relief, with stopper of imitation pearl set in metal, China, ca.19th century
Physical Description
The bottle is an oval flattened flask form, with sloping shoulders and a dome-shaped stopper.

It is made from glass, opaque white, with overlay of blue glass carved in relief. The stopper is an imitation pearl set in metal.

The decoration depicts two confonted dragons forming a stylized long character, meaning 'dragon'.

The splayed foot is formed by the overlay, with indentation underneath.
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.3cm
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.1531&A-1910

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record createdJuly 7, 1998
Record URL