Little and lovely

Those lovely small snuff bottles all began during the Qing Dynasty (1644- 1911).  Precious powdered tobacco was held in them, along with some herbs and spices, and the snuff was used as a remedy for colds and illnesses.  Some bottles still have a little spoon attached to the stopper.  Each of the tiny bottles are delicately illustrated with a scene or image that has a symbolic meaning.  There are cranes, lotus flowers, dragonflies, and some are believed to boost health, focus, or determination.

Designed to fit into the palm of the user’s hand, the exquisite bottles can be made out of jade, agate, glass, wood, ivory, sterling silver, porcelain, or turquoise or ruby. The price varies – the collector’s pieces can be much sought-after. Half a dozen or so, organised prettily, will add whimsy to any dressing table.

Pick up some snuff bottles at the Jade Market, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon; and a friendly history lesson while viewing the displays at the Friendship Trading Company, 105-107 Hollywood Rd, Central adds an adventuresome touch and for some fun fossicking head to True Arts & Curios, 89-91 Hollywood Rd, Central.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.