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Snuff bottle

Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1909 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Jasper with a stopper of stained and crackled glass set in metal

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • 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 an oblong flattened flask form, the shoulders sloping up to a wide short cylindrical neck It has an irregular dome-shaped stopper.
The bottle is made of jasper, brown with grey markings; the stopper of crackled glass stained green and set in metal. The metal rim of the stopper has a decorative twisted rope motif.
The bottle has a high foot with a high indentation underneath.
The decorative interest lies in the natural colour and markings of the stone. The oblong shape suggests a nineteenth-century date.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1800-1909 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Jasper with a stopper of stained and crackled glass set in metal


Height: 6.4 cm bottle only

Descriptive line

Scu, China, carving, jasper

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.


Jasper; Glass; Metal


Crackling; Staining

Subjects depicted



ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories


East Asia Collection

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