Length: 27.000 cm
Height: 5.200 cm (funnel)
Diameter: 4.400 cm (saucer)
Asia OA 1992.11-14.1-3
Room 33: Asia
Ivory snuff equipment
Qing dynasty (AD 1644-1911)
Spoons and other items used for taking snuff
Snuff is powdered tobacco, flavoured with various herbs and spices. It is sniffed, rather than smoked. Snuff was probably introduced to China in the seventeenth century by the Jesuits. First used by the early Qing emperors, then other members of the court, the habit of taking snuff spread quickly through Chinese society. This stimulated the production of small, intricately decorated snuff bottles.
Snuff can be ingested from a pinch between the fingers, or from a miniature dish, or from a small spoon attached to the stopper of a snuff bottle.
The three spoons
are attached to the corked lids of snuff bottles. They are made of
J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)