Glass Snuff Bottles

The Amazing Art of Glass Snuff Bottles

Currently, the glass snuff bottles are considered as the famous Chinese fine arts.  There are several other decorative accessories and elements that make these glass snuff bottles so fascinating.

Glass snuff bottlesMost of the currently available glass snuff bottles are those of Qianlong and Yongzheng. They are mainly designed during the Qing dynasty. The artists during their rule were very wise and with their wisdom, they have introduced the way of decorating the glass snuff bottles with different enamels. Most of such decorative glass snuff bottles resemble the European style.

The designing of these glass snuff bottles were done under the supervision of a professional artist. The professional had a strong leverage over the production of glass snuff containers. The glass snuff bottles are very small and their size is hardly 3 inches. They are the microcosm of Chinese artisan’s craftsmanship. Sometimes the glass snuff bottles were made in other locations, usually to be sold to the Chinese. They were used only for retaining powdered tobacco along with some herbs and flavors in it.

This combination was inhaled through the nose through the hole on the glass snuff bottle. Though the consumption of tobacco is illegal during those days, due to its health benefits snuff inhalation is permitted. The citizens never used this for opium or other drugs. As the size of the glass snuff bottles is very small, they were used for bribing people. The carved or decorated concepts on snuff containers included vegetation and animal totems proposed to convey blessings. The containers also came with spoons, made from variety of materials.

2The designs carved on these glass snuff bottles don’t mean significant for others but there is a lot of intention behind such figures for the Chinese. Each symbol has its own significance. Enamel on glass especially was an extremely tough technique to expert, because the container was often carved out of impede of glass, not blown. So it was technically very difficult to complete, particularly because they had kilns that didn’t have warmth measures. Then it had to be enameled, and then you had to blaze it, and if the blaze got too warm, the thing would collapse. They had to eyeball if it was too warm or warm enough or anything.

Ceramic where they took a glass bottle and then dropped it into another color or some colors sometimes, and you origin the outside color to make an image on the container. They are really decorated inside with a little brush that moves in and has a right angle so that the decor can go up on the exterior. It is most like watercolors decorate but not an oil painting. So, you are not supposed to dip this in water. The first interior painted containers were made by literati and scholar agents. It was an amateur painters’ sort of thing. Then there were genuine craftsmen who became very good at this. There are a number of top creative persons today who extend to make inside-painted glass snuff bottles which makes them more valuable.