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Snuff bottle

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glass, semi-opaque white, with an overlay of red glass carved in relief

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    C.1670-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    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 flattened pear form without a stopper.
    It is made of glass, semi-opaque white, with an overlay of red glass carved in relief.
    The decoration depicts a bat above a pine tree and waves. On the reverse there is a bat above rocks and waves. On each shoulder there is a mask and mock ring handles with a bat beneath.
    The foot is formed by overlay, with angular indentation underneath.

  • Dimensions

    Height: 6.2 cm

  • Descriptive line

    Glass snuff bottle, semi-opaque white, with an overlay of red glass carved in relief, China, ca.19th century

  • 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.

  • Collection code

    East Asia Collection