Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty
The above object caught my attention immediately, not only because it was exquisitely beautiful but I remember I have a similar one at home, which Peter got me as a gift a couple of years ago.
I thought it was a perfume bottle. It was only during a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum two days ago that I learnt it was a snuff bottle, which was used during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).
Smoking a tobacco was prohibited during the Qing Dynasty, therefore nicotine loving Chinese and Mongolian people had resorted to sniffing powdered tobacco contained in snuff bottles. Inhaling finely ground tobacco was allowed as consumption was deemed medicinal at that time.
The snuff bottles were constructed as tactile as possible as they are carried by hand replacing the snuff boxes favoured by Europeans. There were really beautiful, work of art, snuff bottles as they were a symbol of your position, how high up you were in society. Sharing a snuff during the 16th century China was a form of greetings.
Wonderful to learn new things. I now know that my ‘perfume bottle’ is actually a snuff bottle. Where is the tobacco?!!! 🙂