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Lot 79: 4 Snuff Bottles of Amber, Resin and Glass, 20th C.
22 October 2016
Berlin, Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Amber, resin and glass
China, 20th century
Shoulder accented, bulbous, rectangular and drop shape
Very well and wide hollowed body
Narrow mouth with a straight and a slightly sweeping lip
Recessed base with an oval foot rim
The walls show the fine grain of the material, partly composed of mosaics
The drop-shaped snuff bottle with shou character surrounded by bats and floral elements
The glass snuff bottle with interior painting
Stopper made of horn and resin, partly with a bone spoon
Height of the bottle with stopper: 6-10 cm
Width of the mouth: c. 0.5-0.6 cm
Width of the neck: 1.7-2.1 cm
The snuff bottles are in good condition with usual signs of age and wear. Traces of glue and restauration on one bottle are visible. The height of the bottle with stopper is 6-10 cm. The width of the mouth measures c. 0.5-0.6 cm and the width of the neck is 1.7-2.1 cm.
Chinese Snuff bottles
Chinese snuff bottles were used to store snuff tobacco powder. Besides this purpose, they were also decorative objects which served as status symbols. Often they were small masterpieces, showing fine craftsmanship in various materials such as glass, porcelain, jade, quartz, ivory, coral, lacquer, amber and wood.
Tobacco was imported to China from Europe in the late 16th century and was initially smoked in pipes. The use as snuff began at the outset of the Qing dynasty in 1644, when smoking tobacco was prohibited, whereas snuff was seen as a remedy for common illness: colds, headaches or stomach aches. At first, snuff was only accessible to the elites of the dynastic households, but towards the end of the 17th century it became popular at the Beijing court and developed into a social ritual among the upper classes. By the end of the late 18th century, this trend had spread to the rest of the country and permeated all social strata. It was considered polite to offer a pinch of snuff to friends on the street or to house guests. As a result, elaborate Snuff bottles were constantly being held and passed around, slowly rounding the edges from wear. The popularity of snuff reached its apex in the Qing dynasty, ebbing with the revolution and the founding of the Chinese republic in 1912.
Shipping costs excl. statutory VAT and plus 2,5% (+VAT) shipping insurance.