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Chinese Snuff Bottles

Chinese snuff bottles, only a couple inches in height, are pieces of art that once held powdered tobacco as a remedy for headaches, stomachaches, and other ailments. These small bottles can be made from glass, jade, ivory, ceramic, and metal, among other materials. The more intricately and beautifully decorated the bottle, the higher status or rank of the owner in historical China.

Due to the humid climate of China, snuff would normally stick together and become a solid block in a container that was not fully sealed. Realizing this, Emperor Kangxi commissioned the creation of beautifully hand-decorated medicine bottles with well-fitted lids during the Qing Dynasty. Since then, the popularity of these snuff bottles grew and snuff bottles became synonymous with aristocracy.


Quick Facts

  • Influenced by the Jesuit society, the Chinese made many beautiful glass snuff bottles, but later opted for more durable materials like jade or coral since glass tended to shatter during the bitter-cold winters
  • Since the 1920s, snuff has not been in use. Despite this, Chinese snuff bottles continue to be in production and are common collector's items to be proudly displayed
  • During the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods, the Jesuits taught Chinese artisans to enamel on metal or glass. These snuff bottles thus had very Western themes, and are today very rare and sought after

Recommended Items at Auction

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Malachite Carved Snuff Bottle
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Malachite Carved Snuff Bottle
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $20- $200
$1407 Bids
18th,Glass painted snuff bottle
Oct 22, 3:00 PM PDT
18th,Glass painted snuff bottle
by Peng Long Auction Inc
Est: $80- $100
$6006 Bids
Mexico Sterling Silver Figural Snuff Bottle
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Mexico Sterling Silver Figural Snuff Bottle
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$114 Bids
3 Chinese snuff bottles with metal overlay w/ jewel
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
3 Chinese snuff bottles with metal overlay w/ jewel
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$453 Bids
11 CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES AND A CARVED STONE
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
11 CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES AND A CARVED STONE
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $200- $300
$1252 Bids
Chinese overlay Peking glass snuff bottle
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
Chinese overlay Peking glass snuff bottle
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$202 Bids
3 Peking glass snuff bottles
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
3 Peking glass snuff bottles
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $300
$402 Bids
3 snuff bottles
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
3 snuff bottles
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $300
$402 Bids
Chinese jade like stone carved snuff bottle
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
Chinese jade like stone carved snuff bottle
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$252 Bids
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Massive Chinese Crystal Like Snuff Bottle
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Massive Chinese Crystal Like Snuff Bottle
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$101 Bid
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Chinese snuff blue bottle: Peasants threshing rice Qing
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese snuff blue bottle: Peasants threshing rice Qing
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $300- $600
$1001 Bid
Suzhou School Chinese Carved Agate Toggle
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Suzhou School Chinese Carved Agate Toggle
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $500- $5,000
$2001 Bid
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Chinese antique snuff black bottle: Waiter & cashier
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese antique snuff black bottle: Waiter & cashier
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $400- $800
$1001 Bid
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Chinese antique snuff black bottle: Great Wall of China
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese antique snuff black bottle: Great Wall of China
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $500- $1,500
$1001 Bid
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Group Chinese Porcelain Snuff Bottles
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Group Chinese Porcelain Snuff Bottles
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$101 Bid
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Estate Chinese Jade, Gem Stone, Snuff Bottles
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Estate Chinese Jade, Gem Stone, Snuff Bottles
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $200- $250
$501 Bid
Chinese Flambe Glass Snuff or Perfume Scent Bottle
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese Flambe Glass Snuff or Perfume Scent Bottle
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid
(3) Chinese Snuff Bottles - Amethyst & Marble
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
(3) Chinese Snuff Bottles - Amethyst & Marble
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $200- $300
$501 Bid
5 CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
5 CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $250- $350
$1501 Bid
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Chinese Amber Carved Snuff Bottle
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Amber Carved Snuff Bottle
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $150
$201 Bid
Old Turquoise & Coral Under Garment Chinese Opium Snuff Bottle
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Old Turquoise & Coral Under Garment Chinese Opium Snuff Bottle
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$61 Bid
Chinese 14k Gold and Carved Cinnabar Snuff Bottle
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese 14k Gold and Carved Cinnabar Snuff Bottle
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
$401 Bid
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Collectible Chinese Overlay Glass Snuff Bottle
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Collectible Chinese Overlay Glass Snuff Bottle
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $150
$201 Bid
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Group Chinese Porcelain & Glass Snuff Bottles
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Group Chinese Porcelain & Glass Snuff Bottles
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $200- $250
$301 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Snuff Bottles


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Empire Auction House

Empire Auction House

Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Ander's Auction

Ander's Auction