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Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1840-1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    [Snuff bottle] Porcelain, with decoration painted in underglaze blue
    [Stopper] Gilded metal

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Cecil Crofton, 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.

Physical description

The bottle is a jar form with a very wide neck and a large bulbous stopper with a finial.
It is made of porcelain, painted in underglaze blue; the stopper of gilded metal.
The decoration depicts pomegranates and what may be chrysanthemums with tendrils of foliage.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1840-1920 (made)


unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

[Snuff bottle] Porcelain, with decoration painted in underglaze blue
[Stopper] Gilded metal

Marks and inscriptions

[Snuff bottle] six-character Yongzheng


[Snuff bottle] Height: 5.1 cm

Descriptive line

Chinese snuff bottle, 1840-1920, Qing dynasty; porcelain with painted decoration.

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.


Porcelain; Metal


Painting (image making); Gilding

Subjects depicted

Flower; Dragons; Chrysanthemum; Leaf; Pomegranate


Containers; Personal accessories; Ceramics

Collection code


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