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.