Chinese snuff bottles were used to contain powdered tobacco. The use of snuff began and increased in popularity after the establishment of the Qing Dynasty. Although smoking tobacco was considered illegal at that time, the use of snuff was allowed because the Chinese considered snuff to be a good remedy for many common illnesses like colds, headaches and stomach disorders. Therefore, snuff were carried in a small medicine bottle like other Chinese medicine at the time, hence the name snuff bottle. Snuff bottle are comparable to the snuff box used by Europeans.
Original snuff bottles from the Qing period are a desirable target for serious collectors and museums. A good bottle has an extra quality over and above its exquisite beauty and value; that is touch. Snuff bottles were made to be held and so they have a wonderful tactile quality, a ravishing subtlety we are unable to experience as the best bottles are carefully locked in museum cases or in connoisseur’s collections. But even some of the more accessible bottles give an indication of this remarkable characteristic.,/font>