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Updated: 14 April 2015
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.
- Made in: Beijing
- (Asia,China,Beijing (municipality),Beijing (city))
- Height: 8 centimetres
Inscription Positionon base
Inscription TranslationAncient Moon Pavillion
Inscription CommentThree characters written in a horizontal line in pale iron red
Published PDF date : c. 1850Room 95 label text:
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.
Republican period, AD 1912-1930
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.
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Object reference number: RRC39136
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