Chinese snuff bottles
Quite special and highly collectible are the Chinese snuff bottles. During the 17th century tobacco smoking was forbidden in China, thus stimulating snuff taking which was not mentioned in the anti-smoking law. A rage for the precious and nicely decorated bottle emerged.
Over the centuries the snuff bottle developed, introducing new forms and materials for each social layer. Most costly are the precious stones such as agate and jade. Given the Chinese craftsmanship even glass and ceramic bottles are pieces of art. Ivory and bone, wood, lacquer and celluloid were among the wide choice of materials used.
Each material has its own qualities that were used to the utmost to achieve the maximum of effect. The layered structure of agate for instance was exploited to highlight the raised decoration on the flask. Another stone could be polished to show its internal coloring, while the opal quartz was processed into a transparent design. Most remarkable are the glass bottles painted in the inside with a one-hair brush. These decorated flasks were resistant to the wear of usage and even transport.
Most of these small and luxurious bottles were never used, but even than highly sought after as a collector’s item to be shown in a cabinet. They were popular in the past but will be appreciated in the future, not to be used but as collector's items.
Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes