Carved Shoulao Jade/Hardstone Snuff Bottle, China, 19th Century.
Of rounded elongated pebble form, perhaps jade, the stone of dark celadon with brown and other inclusions, one side carved with the figure of Shoulao, lighter small stopper.
Snuff bottles were used by the Chinese population during the Qing Dynasty to contain powdered tobacco. Smoking tobacco was illegal during the Dynasty, but the use of snuff was allowed because the Chinese considered snuff to be a remedy for common illnesses such as colds, headaches and stomach disorders. Therefore, snuff was carried in a small bottle like other medicines. The snuff bottle is comparable to the snuff box used by Europeans.Snuff bottles were made out of many different materials including porcelain, jade, ivory, wood, tortoiseshell, metal and ceramic, though probably the most common used material was glass.
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