Double Gourd Snuff Bottle

c. 1900
$380 USD
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H: 3.75" Dia: 1.25"
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A mixture of finely powdered tobacco, herbs, and spices, snuff was introduced to China in the 17th century by Western diplomats. Initially reserved for ranking members of Qing-dynasty society, the practice of indulging in snuff provided an opportunity to display one's refined aesthetic through collectible snuff containers.

This curious snuff bottle is carved from horn and bone to a double gourd shape, an ancient emblem of health and longevity. The traditional form emulates the shape of calabashes, or bottle gourds, and is associated with good health because traveling doctors used such gourds as natural vessels to carry medicine. The exterior is decorated with delicate etchings of a pondering scholars amid nature.

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