Chinese Dragon Motif Enamel Covered Metal Snuff Bottle handpainted with Chinoiserie Dragon Landscape Motif. Ivory ground with orange red dragon, green landscape and blue decorative band along sides. Perfect to start or add to your collection.
Excellent Vintage Condition. Has airtight stopper but no spoon.
DIMENSION: 3" H x 2.5" W x 1" D
HISTORY & FACTS: Chinese snuff bottles were only made in the Qing Dynasty, which started in 1644 and ended in 1911 and contrary to what some people think, they were not used for opium, only for holding powdered tobacco. Usually tobacco was mixed with herbs and spices and was inhaled through the nose.
They started in the imperial court. For the first hundred years of their existence, throughout much of the 18th century, tobacco was exceedingly expensive in China, so taking snuff was for the imperial family and the influential elite of Chinese Society. It wasn’t until the 19th century that you see a diffusion to the general population.
They stopped using snuff in China about the 1920s; however, there were still artisans who continued to make them, primarily for the foreign collectors market. You may notice that there’s an enormous collectors market going on now, both reproductions as well as 18th- or 19th-century bottles. While a bottle made for export or museum reproduction will range around $50 to $150, while authentic 18th century bottles can bring up to $5000 - $10,000 each.
Source: Collectors Weekly; Maribeth Keane