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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.1904&A-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 a squarish flattened flask form with a flat-topped stopper.
It is made of chalcedony, yellow and grey with dark brown inclusions, with carved decoration. The stopper of green and white jadeite jade set in metal.
The carving depicts three monkeys. On the reverse there is a bird standing on a rock with one foot raised, and a lotus plant.
The high foot has an indentation underneath.
The inclusions are incorporated in the carved decoration.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1750-1895 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Dimensions

Height: 5.7 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.

Subjects depicted

Lotus; Bird; Monkey (animal); Rock

Categories

ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories

Collection

East Asia Collection

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