Chinese Snuff Bottles
Tobacco was first introduced into China as early as the mid 16th century. The taking of snuff and the manufacture of snuff bottles for storage, is closely associated with the Ching Dynasty. This dynasty was founded by the Manchu, a non-Han people from North of China proper. The dynasty lasted from 1644 to 1912; however, was during the 18th and 19th century that most of the great bottles were produced.
Tobacco/snuff was considered medicinal, and beautiful bottles were made out of every material imaginable to hold It. These these bottles were collected by the Imperial family, scholars, Mandarins and the rising merchant class. They are often decorated with myths, sayings, gods and nature scenes. As little gems, the bottles served as important status symbols and were given as gifts and bribes. As objects, they still function as status symbols today. My collecting has been concentrated on 18th and 19th century hard stone and glass bottles.