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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.
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.
Place of Origin
Height: 6.3 cm
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
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.
Dragon; Geometric patterns
ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories; Glass
East Asia Collection