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Chinese snuff bottles, the style of an era

People's Daily Online)  08:54, April 08, 2013  


The use of snuff was introduced to China during the late Ming to early Qing Dynasty. At that time, the Chinese considered snuff to be a remedy for common illnesses such as colds, headaches and stomach disorders. Therefore, snuff was carried in a small bottle like other medicines. Snuff bottles are customized for convenience of use while traveling. The bottle is typically the size of a pack of cigarettes.

Snuff bottles were made out of many different materials including porcelain, jade, ivory, wood, tortoiseshell, metal, ceramic, and glass. Traditional Chinese art methods, such as painting, calligraphy, glazing, carving, gold-plating etc, were applied to the making of the bottles. Therefore, even though the habit of snuffing is practically nonexistent, the exquisite art of snuff bottles has been passed down through the generations. Chinese snuff bottles were, and remain, time-consuming in their production and are thus desirable for today's collectors.

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(Editor:DuMingming、Ye Xin)


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