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snuff-bottle

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.836

  • Description

    Porcelain snuff-bottle of double gourd form with two small loop handles on the shoulders, and a gilt filigree metal stopper with an ivory spoon attached. The snuff bottle has a fine white body. There are gourd vines in enamel on a gold brocade ground on the exterior.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1736-1795
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 55 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Script

        seal script
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大清乾隆年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Qing Qianlong nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Qing Qianlong 1736-1795Room 95 label text:

    PDF 836

    Gourd-shaped snuff bottle


    Jesuit missionaries residing within the Forbidden City brought with them Western technologies such as enamelling glass and introduced Western habits such as sniffing snuff (powdered tobacco flavoured with aromatic substances). By the reign of the emperor Kangxi (AD 1662–1722), taking snuff had become an imperial habit. Chinese craftsmen revelled in the production of miniature works of art and the tiny snuff-bottle form provided a means to demonstrate their skills. This bottle is painted with auspicious gourds and has a Qianlong mark on the base.


    Porcelain with overglaze enamels and gold or gilt bronze cover.
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Qing dynasty, Qianlong mark and period, AD1736–95

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Lady David 1973 p.16, no.836 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 p.17, Fig.9 (p.94, mark on base) bibliographic details
    • Scott 1991 p.28, no.836 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case64-6

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.836

Fine white porcelain Snuff-bottle of double gourd form with two small loop handles on the shoulders. Decorated with gourd vines in enamel colours on a gold brocade ground, and fitted with a gilt filigree metal stopper with an ivory spoon attached.

Fine white porcelain Snuff-bottle of double gourd form with two small loop handles on the shoulders. Decorated with gourd vines in enamel colours on a gold brocade ground, and fitted with a gilt filigree metal stopper with an ivory spoon attached.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC39168

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