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Snuff bottle

Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1870-1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rock crystal with a stopper of jadeite jade and coral

  • 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 extremely flattened form of a rectangle surmounted by a circle, the shoulders sloping up to a flared neck. It has a two-part flat-topped stopper.
The bottle is made of rock crystal, transparent, with the inside surface frosted white; the stopper of jadeite jade and coral.
The flat bottom of rectangle forms the base of the bottle and there is no foot.
The decorative interest of the bottle lies in its unusual and very elegant shape, and in the purity of the colour; it stands only precariously.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1870-1895 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Rock crystal with a stopper of jadeite jade and coral


Height: 7.0 cm

Descriptive line

Chinese snuff bottle, rock crystal with jadeite jade and coral, Qing Dynasty; 1870-1895.

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.


Rock crystal; Coral; Jade


ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories


East Asia Collection

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