Asian and Western collectors have been fascinated with snuff bottles since they were first produced in China in the early 18th century. Deemed as precious containers for ground tobacco imported to China, snuff bottles were initially made for the emperor and the court. They were eventually produced in greater quantities for the public, who enjoyed the functionality of the bottles as well as their display as symbols of status. These striking miniatures not only illustrate the technical artistry of Qing dynasty craftsmen, but also provide a window on life and culture in late imperial China.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website