Amazing art in a bottle – Chinese snuff bottle

May 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Snuff bottles were used by the Chinese during the Qing Dynasty to contain powdered tobacco. Smoking tobacco was illegal during the Dynasty, but the use of snuff was allowed because the Chinese considered snuff to be a remedy for common illnesses such as colds, headaches and stomach disorders. Therefore, snuff was carried in a small bottle like other medicines.

These are glass bottles which have pictures and often calligraphy painted on the inside surface of the glass. These delightful scenes are only an inch or two high and are painted while manipulating the brush through the neck of the bottle maybe only a quarter inch across, and also painted in reverse.

It has been said that a skilled artist may complete a simple bottle in a week while something special may take a month or more and that the best craftsmen will produce only a few bottles in a year.

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