Snuff Bottles


Snuff bottles has a long history of about 400 years and occupies a unique position in Chinese art. One of the most fascinating things of Chinese art is the creation of Snuff bottles. The designing of Snuff bottles is a combination of calligraphy, engraving, enamel, Chinese and foreign paintings, etc., which made them so adorable and attractive. Snuff bottles are one of the important creations of Qing Dynasty. Snuff is considered as medicine and available in the form of powder. This snuff is consumed through a bottle called snuff bottle. With the growing popularity of snuff inhalation, the demand for snuff bottles also increased rapidly. People carve different type of snuff bottles with varying shapes, colors and materials. They are generally available in gold, silver, glass, antique, coral, porcelain, bamboo, agate, jade, etc. and the most popularly used snuff bottle is glass snuff bottle. Initially, the use of snuff and snuff bottles started with upper classes of the society and later, it spread throughout the nation. Snuff bottle is hardly 3 inches large and can be easily fit in one’s palm. Sooner, these snuff bottles became the part of beauty and interior décor. It also represents the status of the person and the one with the finest and rarest snuff bottle is considered to have the highest status. There is a lot of development in terms of Chinese snuff bottles art work for past thirty years and this made them world famous.

snuff bottle

 

 

A good snuff bottle has an exquisite beauty, high value and ultimate quality. They are available with small spoons to extract the snuff from the container. Chinese snuff bottles are well known for their carvings and paintings on it. Though the art of carving and painting on the snuff bottles is time consuming, the uniqueness of it made them more popular. Snuff bottles with imperial marks are particularly searched after, but they are progressively scarce. These are considered as the greatest collection items that are available in modern day markets. Regardless of the spectacular boost in prices, especially for exceptional containers, the chances of collections do exist. It would take a gigantic amount of time, effort, and economic investment to collect the unique snuff bottles, but it is still possible to amass an equitably comprehensive collection. The sales have assisted rejuvenate the market by appealing new interest and these are the celebrity pieces that persons desire to have in their list of collections. While there is an abounding of competition, the snuff container community tends to be more collegial than many other assembling fields. With the intention to save their cultural heritage, the Chinese government requested the old and professional artists to create such snuff bottles with best carvings and paintings on them. These professionals started developing the arts with modern equipment reflecting the modern society’s culture especially the inside painting method. Many rare materials are available in China and artists started carving the snuff bottles and other artifacts with them.

Jade snuff bottle

White Jade Snuff BottleFor several thousand years, Jade has occupied a unique place in the history of China and is considered as a typical Chinese stoner.  It is considered as the most valuable stone than that of Gold and other precious stones.  Jade is the combination of two different minerals called Jadeite and Nephrite. Though the Nephrite is available in different colors, the one creamy and opaque color is considered as the most precious stone. It is available in river beds of China and Tibet. This is the material from which the earlier jade ornaments are artifacts were made.  Initially, these Jade Snuff bottles are made in Beijing’s Palace Workshop and other locations that are famous for jade carvings.  Jade snuff bottles have high demand along with tactile appreciation. Jadeite has a crystalline structure and is harder than nephrite. It is also available in different colors but the one with emerald and apple green tones are of exact gem quality whereas no notes were available it as indigenous to China. The variety of hues along with the imperfections in the stone provided inspiration to the craftsman, inspiring them to conceive a masterpiece out of them. This leads to development of highly valuable jade snuff bottle. The snuff bottle is on a flat base occasionally footed and with a neck varying in height with an unfastening to extract the tobacco dust.

Glass snuff bottle

White glass snuff bottleThe production of snuff has been increased and especially to eliminate the epidemic diseases. The snuff is kept in these crystal clear glass container and these are also available in different colors such as purple, yellow, pink, etc. Most of the current day available snuff bottles are made of glass. A spoon  is attached to the glass snuff bottle’s stopper. With this spoon, the snuff is extracted from the bottle and again put into it. These glass snuff bottles were left simple to show off the attractiveness of their hue. Carving and additional paintings along with significant images is the done after the bottle was created. The carvings made on the glass snuff bottles exactly resemble the hard stone and seem to be an alternative to regular vessels. Other glass snuff bottles are enameled and engraved with artistic crafts. The glass snuff bottles were mainly a functional object and represent its owner. That is the reason these glass snuff bottles available in different colors and size.

Porcelain Snuff bottle

Porcelain Snuff BottlePorcelain is initially found in China and it is famous for various ceramic arts. These high quality porcelain products are nowhere available in the world and are considered as the best category of decorative arts. Until the end of 18th century, porcelain was not used for designing these snuff bottles. Porcelain is known for its two important properties called translucency and sonority. Porcelain is manufactured with two raw materials kaolin and petuntse. Kaolin is also called China clay. Both these materials are available abundantly in China and this lead to the manufacturing of porcelain snuff bottle. With the increasing demand for snuff consumption and cheap price of porcelain, the porcelain snuff bottles became famous meeting the needs of all class of people. These porcelain snuff bottles served the purpose of the large population of China. These snuff bottles can be easily molded and enameled. Most of the Chinese porcelain materials are colored with white and blue and there is no other porcelain in comparison to these blue and white porcelain products of China. They also manufactured with different materials to store the color, flavor and smell of the products such as tea, snuff placed in it.

Agate Snuff bottle

Agate Snuff BottleAgate is the most translucent form of quartz and is microcrystalline in nature. It is known for its brightness and available in different rocks. It is the most common material used to carve hard stones and found in different ancient sites which signifies its wide availability. Greatest use was made of the distinctive markings in the pebble. In numerous situations, this natural tinting was so hitting that no further carving was needed other than the genuine forming of the bottle. Because of the limitless range of colors to be found in the quartz family of stones, snuff container artisans were able to give free rein to their imaginations, often with astonishing results. Good hollowing of all hard stone bottles is very significant, but this is particularly factual of quartz containers because they often have hitting hues which can be treasured only when the walls are slim sufficient to permit natural light to shine through. The agate snuff bottle not only has a certain practicability but also as a significant present in worldwide. It is undeniable that the imperial workshops produced the most attractive bottles but it remains tough to attribute snuff containers. The Chinese snuff bottle is a subject that fascinates numerous collectors with its attractive shapes and prized components. The agate snuff bottle made in white agate with sculpted veined brown adornment and best carvings were very famous.

Coral Snuff bottle

2Coral is considered as an amulet by many people as it protects people from bad thoughts, doing bad things, envy and evil. Many people believe that this coral is used to heal the injuries and help the pregnant women to give a pain free birth to their child when the coral is rubbed on the palm while child birth. It has become a tradition and so artists started developing the snuff bottles with this material and are called the coral snuff bottles.

Corals are living marine life, that can be found at the bottom of the sea, or at shallow water, as some kind of them require sunlight. to the touch, they feel almost like stone.

Coral snuff bottles are highly valued and are used as a part of great economy. The coral snuff bottle often available in the form of coral branch. Later, with the decrease in demand for these snuff bottles many religious people burnt them unnecessarily. Elephant’s tusks are used for extracting ivory and this is used as a tool for carving. With this ivory, the coral snuff bottle has acquired a unique shape and structure. Other materials such as walrus ivory is used to imitate jadeite is also used for creating Coral snuff bottles.