"Snuff Bottle, Snuff Box, Blue Gold Glass, China 20th Century"Snuff bottle in glass with blue decorations with a lake, duck and bamboo theme
Inclusions in gold
Signed as shown in the photo
Signs of time as shown in the photos
China, early 20th century
Dimensions: 2.7 x 4.5 cm - height 7 cm
"Snuff bottle" is an English word that indicates a small bottle used by the Chinese to contain snuff.
Tobacco, originally from the American continent, was introduced in China towards the beginning of the seventeenth century by Spanish and Portuguese traders.
The custom of smoking tobacco leaves spread very quickly among all strata of the population, so much so that, with the advent of the Qīng dynasty (1644), smoking was declared illegal.
However, it was allowed to smell the tobacco (in English "snuff") finely chopped and mixed with various aromatic substances (mint, camphor, jasmine or other plants and flowers), as it was thought that it could be a remedy for the most common diseases, such as cold, headache, stomach pain.
For this reason the snuff used in China was stored in small bottles like most other medicines, unlike what happened in Europe where the snuff boxes were usually box-shaped, or among the American Indians who kept tobacco. inside leather handbags.
Another reason why tobacco was stored in bottles is the extreme humidity of various parts of China, especially the southern ones, which required the tobacco to be kept in a sealed container, just like snuff bottles were.
The use of snuff spread rapidly in the court of Emperor Kāngxī (1662-1722) and snuff bottles became a status symbol and an opportunity to exhibit one's wealth and rank within Chinese society.
The fact that snuff was widely used at the imperial court, which has always encouraged all forms of art, led to the birth of a real snuff bottle industry.
Unlike many other artistic objects that were made in China, snuff bottles have the peculiarity of having been produced only during a single dynasty: the Qīng dynasty (1644 - 1911).
In fact, the habit of sniffing tobacco drastically ended with the end of the imperial dynasty and the advent of the Republic (1911).
The snuff bottles are always small in size (usually no more than 7-8 cm in height) so that they can be easily carried in a pocket or in small silk bags tied to the garments.