Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Maxwell Collection

Exhibition open from Sat May 09 2009 to Sun Sep 06 2009

Turquoise, Qianlong Period (1736-1795), 2 1/6 in. (5.5 cm)

Turquoise, Qianlong Period (1736-1795), 2 1/6 in. (5.5 cm)

The snuff bottles from the Maxwell Collection offer an intriguing insight into the history of imperial and private workshops in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), which endeavored to impress the social elite. After snuff was introduced into China in the early 17th century, Chinese craftsmen unleashed their great artistic talent on small snuff containers by exploring a wide variety of materials, from semiprecious stones to glass. They also experimented with and developed novel decorating techniques. This installation is the sixth in a series of snuff bottle exhibitions at the Crow Collection of Asian Art since 2007. The bottles provide a rare educational experience for visitors who want to familiarize themselves with various handicraft decorating techniques in late imperial China.