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Snuff bottle

Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Seed pot, mounted with silver and set with semi-precious stones

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery, case 30 []

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

Snuff bottle of oblong shape, made from dark-coloured seed pod, mounted in silver and set with colour stones, possibly coral, malachite and carnelian. Stopper attached to the bottle by a screw fitting.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1800-1900 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Seed pot, mounted with silver and set with semi-precious stones


Height: 6.3 cm

Descriptive line

Woo, China, carving, wood

Woo, China, carving, wood

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.

Production Note

The orignal register entry describes the bottle as having been made in Tibet in the nineteenth century.


Silver; Malachite; Carnelian; Coral


ELISE; Containers; Personal accessories


East Asia Collection

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