Agate Snuff Bottle with Carnelian Beads

c. 1850
$171 $228 USD
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Dimensions
W: 1.5" D: 1.5" H: 2.75"
Materials
Stone
Agate
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
CMKH128
Estimated Shipping
$20

Snuff, a mixture of powdered tobacco, herbs, and spices, was introduced to China by Western diplomats in the 17th century. The opportunity for ranking members of Chinese society to customize their snuff bottles made them favorite collectibles. This example is carved from agate and features small carnelian beads. These two stones were set aside from all others by the Chinese, believing them to have a special connection to intelligence and the mind. The red carnelians and natural veining in the agate provide vibrant splashes of color to contrast with the rich cream background. Small spiral motifs provide a final, subtle decorative texture on this sculptural antiquity.

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