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snuff-bottle

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.804

  • Description

    Glass flask-shaped snuff-bottle with flattened circular body, short tubular neck and oval base with ringed foot. The snuff bottle is fine white semiopaque glass. There is a phoenix with a sprig of 'lingzhi' in its mouth carved in relief and painted in famille rose palette enamels on the exterior on one side and two quails on the other.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1912-1930
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 8 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        mark
      • Inscription Script

        Kaishu
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        古月軒
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Guyuexuan
      • Inscription Translation

        Ancient Moon Pavillion
      • Inscription Comment

        Three characters written in a horizontal line in pale iron red
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : c. 1850Room 95 label text:

    PDF 804

    Snuff bottle with quails


    This snuff bottle is painted with two quails which are a visual pun for double peace which is a Chinese greeting for the New Year. The other side is painted with a phoenix and tree peonies. 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. The bottle has a three characters古月軒 (Guyuexuan ‘Pavilion of the Ancient Moon’) written in a horizontal line in pale iron-red on the base. The quality of painting suggests it was made in the nineteenth century.


    Enamelled glass
    Beijing 北京
    Republican period, AD 1912-1930

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  • Bibliography

    • Scott 1991 p.19, no.804 bibliographic details
    • Lady David 1973 p.9, no.804 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/dc33/sh7

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.804

Flask-shaped snuff-bottle with flattened circular body, short tubular neck and oval base with ringed foot. Fine white semiopaque glass with decoration carved in relief and enamelled in 'famille rose' colours. On one side a pheonix, with a sprig of 'lingzhi' in its mouth.

Flask-shaped snuff-bottle with flattened circular body, short tubular neck and oval base with ringed foot. Fine white semiopaque glass with decoration carved in relief and enamelled in 'famille rose' colours. On one side a pheonix, with a sprig of 'lingzhi' in its mouth.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39136

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