White Jade Fisherman Snuff Bottle

c. 1900
W: 2.25" D: 1.25" H: 2.25"
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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 provided an opportunity to display one's refined aesthetic through collectible snuff bottles. This late 19th-century snuff bottle is made of a celadon-green white jade and carved in the form of a fisherman with a large catch and bamboo fisherman's basket. Despite his careful sophistication, the elite Chinese scholar aspired for the simple wisdom and connection to nature of the simple peasant. This was best embodied by the fisherman, who would endlessly adjust to nature's twists and turns in pursuit of his goal. It's no wonder then that the fisherman depicted in this jade bottle resembles a scholar, with his long beard and expression of composure. The beautifully worked bottle is finished with a turquoise and brass stopper and fitted with a thread-wrapped brass snuff spoon.

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