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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
January 23, 2019, 08:11:54 am
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Newbie seeking some info :-)

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Author Topic: Newbie seeking some info :-)  (Read 1279 times)
« on: March 20, 2017, 05:26:25 pm »

Hi everyone!

I am very new to the Chinese snuff bottle community. Three weeks ago, I had no idea what a snuff bottle was. I just happened across one at a consignment shop. It was 4 small silver and enamel bottles hinged together with Chinese writing on them. I was very intrigued by them. Shortly after handling them I found that they all 4 had screw cap stopppers and they piqued my curiosity so much at that point I bought them for $1.99. It took me a couple of hours searching the internet to come across an auction site that had the exact same piece listed for several hundred dollars!! I couldn't believe it. I was so excited about my find that I couldn't stop looking up information about them. Pretty much instantly falling in love with these little treasures :-)
Fast forward to now. I believe I have stumbled across another snuff bottle this past weekend at a street festival. This one is in the form of a pendant and it looks to be either a bone or ivory with an embossed brass plate, a brass collar on the neck and a brass stopper with a jewelry loop for hanging from a necklace. I have searched and cannot find anything like it...but it does seem to meet the criteria for a snuff bottle. If anyone could offer any help or information about it I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you for reading!

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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 06:01:12 pm »

Hi Brandi,

I think the bottle you have pictured is probably a perfume bottle. Snuff bottles have spoons to spoon out snuff but yours seems to have a dibber (for want of a better word) which would pick up a little perfume that could then be touched to a wrist for example.

The other snuff bottles that are hinged together are very likely medicine bottles and a translation of the writing on them may reveal that. They were used in houses to hold medicines that would have been used fairly often with the different medicines being put in each relevant bottle. A sort of mini medicine first aid kit if you like. They do seem to be advertised at relatively high prices as you have said and are normally described as snuff bottles.

Many snuff bottles were probably made as medicine bottles although snuff was considered as a medicine and it's generally accepted that snuff was first put in medicine bottles before bottles purely for snuff were developed.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Adrian.
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 09:17:49 pm »

Food for thought Brandi...

Before you attach images to your posts, be sure to resize them way down.. Notice when you click on your images..
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 01:55:06 pm »

George- my apologies! I posted from my cell phone and did not realize the pictures were so large. I do not see anywhere to edit my post but will definitely make sure any pictures are re-sized in future posts. 

Adrian- thank you so much! That all makes great sense...and may very well be why I haven't been successful in finding any information about it. I will start researching down the perfume bottle path and see what I can turn up.

Thank you both very much!

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