Chinese snuff bottle (Birds)

    SKU: cmcn444060

    £75.00 Members' price *


    A glass snuff bottle featuring a hand-painted illustration of birds surrounded by floral patterns. Its three-sided shape gives it an aspect of optical illusion.

    Snuff bottles were used by the Chinese during the Qing Dynasty to contain powdered tobacco. This example has been decorated using the technique of Inside Glass Painting, a trend that came with the foundation of the Beijing School in the late 1870’s.

    This optical crystal glass is a beautiful example of classical Chinese art to display in your home. Authentically created, specialist artists in China are responsible for both the design, painting and production processes.

    The bottle measures 8 x 5 x 5cm.

    More about snuff bottles

    Snuff is tobacco which has been ground into powder with perfumes added, and is sniffed, rather than smoked or chewed. The habit of taking snuff probably came to China with the Jesuits in the mid-seventeenth century. Its popularity stimulated the production of intricately carved and painted flasks, or snuff bottles. They were carried in pockets or small silk pouches and became an important accessory of daily life.

    Snuff bottles were made of many materials: glass, porcelain, amber, coral, lacquer, ivory and others. The Chinese love carving on a miniature scale and small items, such as snuff bottles, ivory balls, rhino roots and rocks, offer great scope for this art. This lacquer snuff bottle, depicting birds in a floral landscape, is a good example.


    Product code: cmcn444060
    Exhibition: Ming China
    Gift recipient: For him
    World culture: China
    Materials: Hand-painted optical crystal glass
    Details: Handmade by specialist Chinese artists
    Size: 8.5cm (tall) x 5cm (wide) x 5cm (deep)
    Weight: 0.389kg
    Standard UK delivery: 5 working days. Overseas times may vary

    This price is inclusive of VAT

    Every purchase supports the Museum

    Delivery & returns

    Delivery charges: are calculated depending on the weight (kg) and destination of the order. The order total is displayed on the payment page before you confirm your order.

    Estimated Delivery times:
    UK and Europe: 5 - 14 working days.
    Rest of the world: 10 to 28 working days.

    Premium delivery: is available at the checkout for UK addresses only.

    For more information, please see our full Delivery policy here

    If for any reason you are not entirely happy with books and other products purchased from the shop, we will refund the value of the goods supplied. Please contact Customer Services directly on 0800 218 2222 (or from abroad on +44 (0)20 7079 0970) for individual advice.

    Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges on pierced earrings for hygiene reasons, unless they are faulty.

    For more information, please see our full Returns policy here