Artist Unknown

Snuff Bottle

  • Presented by Mr Yeung Tat Che, 1998
  • Glass
  • 55 x 41 x 23mm
  • 98/37.1-2
  • 1875-1908

In the exhibition Art Detectives (20 October 2006 - 25 March 2007) this work appeared with the following label: Snuff is a kind of powdered tobacco (the stuff they put in cigarettes) to be sniffed up the nose - it’s a bit disgusting, so don’t try this at home! In China, where these bottles are from, snuff was mixed with mint and other scented plants, and was thought to help treat various mild illnesses.

Most of these bottles are made of polished glass, with the coloured top layer carefully ground back to make these incredible designs.