Snuff Bottle and Stopper Spoon

Object Name: 
Snuff Bottle and Stopper Spoon

What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
Snuff Bottle and Stopper Spoon
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 8.9 cm, W: 5 cm
On Display
Credit Line: 
Bequest of Marian Swayze Mayer
Web Description: 
The habit of taking snuff (inhaling powdered tobacco) spread to China from the West following the establishment of the Qing dynasty in 1644. While the smoking of tobacco was forbidden at that time, snuff was regarded as a remedy for a wide variety of diseases. Powdered tobacco and other Chinese medicines were dispensed in bottles rather than in boxes, as was customary in Europe. Snuff bottles were made of various materials, including hardstones, porcelain, ivory, and glass. The glass in many snuff bottles imitated semiprecious stones. Most of these bottles were oval with flattened sides, making them easy to carry. Small stoppers, often in contrasting colors, were attached to tiny spoons used for taking the snuff. The best bottles were carved, enameled, or painted on the inside with tiny landscapes, portraits, or inscriptions.
Mayer, Marian Swayze (d. 1982), Source
Primary Description: 
Snuff Bottle and Stopper Spoon. Translucent light blue “snowflake” glass, dark blue, yellow, red, green non-lead glass; blown, pad overlays, cameo carved. (a) Flattened, ovoid form; with short, slightly flared neck, the rim ground flat, with an opening on the top for a stopper and spoon; the body of white-speckled light blue glass, with pad overlays cameo-carved in a series of five dragons, each of a single color, two of them with Ganoderma in the mouth; stylized rocks and foliage below; carved oval green foot rim. (b) Domed circular button of pale blue glass on top, mirror backed, and minutely faceted at the edge; mounted on a black disk; tapered cork shank; long ivory spoon, with slender handle and thick oval spatulate bowl.
Glass Snuff Bottles of China at Steuben Glass
Steuben Glass, Inc. 1981-09-09 through 1981-10-03
La escultura en vidrio (2017) illustrated, p. 142 (fig. 3.41, center);
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 26, center; BIB# 134015
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 26, center; BIB# 134856
The Corning Museum of Glass, A Guide to the Collections (2001) (2001) illustrated, p. 98, third from left; BIB# 68214
Uncovering treasures in the Empire State (1999) p. 130, fig. 3; BIB# AI43699
The Corning Museum of Glass and the Finger Lakes Region (1993) illustrated, p. 13, #21, third from left; BIB# 35681
A Short History of Glass (1990 edition) (1990) illustrated, pp. 36-37, #30; BIB# 33211