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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
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Author Topic: Nuf  (Read 306 times)
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« on: September 15, 2011, 12:57:09 am »

In the treasure book "Leisure Enquires on Snuff" (Yung-lu jsien-chieh) which was completed in 1869 and published in 1880, the author, Jao Gee-chien (1829-1884) mentions the imported snuff container to which the name 'Nuf' was given. He claims that when snuff was first introduced into China it had no specific name and both the powdered snuff and the container for holding it were called "Snuff", initially pronounced in Chinese as "Nuf" which can be translated literally as "wax. The container somewhat resembling a western snuff box was very small, holding only about one tael (approx 37.3 grams) and it was generally delicately finished, transparent as clear crystal, sometimes decorated with designs in gold.
There were various shapes. Sauare, round, triangular, hexagonal, octagonal, etc., and some were divided into two or three compartments for convenience in use.

According to Jao Gee-chien, the various types of Nuf existed only for a short period when they were replaced by larger containers holding up to one catty (about 1 1/2 lbs), with the average type holding at least four taels (a quarter catty).

In a supplement written by Jao Yu-jun in "The Handbook of Chinese Antiquity" Vol. 11 published in 1944, we read, "Although the big Nuf was good for preservation, it was too cumbersome to be carried around for daily use by snuffers. Consequently some of them began to utilize the traditional old medicine bottles. It was customary to keep many kinds of precious medicines in fine procelain phials and some of these were superbly manufactured by the palace workshops. "
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 01:15:50 am by George » Report Spam   Logged

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