- Place of origin:
- Credit Line:
Given by W. G. Gulland, Esq.
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
Ceramics Study Galleries, Asia & Europe, room 137, case 14, shelf 8 
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 a flattened ovoid form with a flared neck and a flat-topped stopper.
It is made of porcelain, moulded in relief with a reticulated surface forming an outer casing over an inner body, and covered with blue enamel.
The flat upper surface of the neck-rim and the underside of the foot are gilded.
The stopper is made of jadeite jade set in silver.
The relief depicts Taoist emblems and flowers, perhaps gardenias, on a ground of cloud scrolls. There are lappet borders around the base and the shoulder and a key-fret border around the neck. On the underside of the neck-rim and around the foot there is a line of dots.
The foot is high with a curved indentation underneath.
The moulded decoration is almost identical to that on the red bottle C.1049-1917. This design is most common in red, which suggests it was inspired by the appearance of lacquer objects. However, it does appear in at least two shades of blue; this dark blue, reminiscent of lapis lazuli and a lighter blue perhaps intended to suggest a turquoise.
Place of Origin
Chinese snuff bottle, porcelain moulded in relief with an enamel skin, decoration depicts Taoist emblems and flowers, Qing Dynasty; 1796-1820.
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.
Cloud scrolls; Flowers (plants)
ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories; Ceramics
East Asia Collection