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Snuff bottle

Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    C.1599&A-1910

  • Gallery location:

    China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery, case 30 []

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 tapering cylindrical form narrowing towards the base, curving in sharply from the shoulder to a cylindrical flared neck with a very wide neck-hole. It has a two-part stopper with a finial.
It is made of chalcedony, yellowish-grey and the stopper of carved grey chalcedony with a stained walrus ivory base (as a simulant of turquoise).
The high foot is faceted and flared with a curved indentation underneath.
The decorative interest lies in the elegant shape and pure colour of the bottle.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1750-1895 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Dimensions

Height: 6.9 cm

Descriptive line

Scu, China, carving, chalcedony

Scu, China, carving, chalcedony

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

Chalcedony

Categories

ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories

Collection

East Asia Collection

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