Nearly 250 exquisite Chinese snuff bottles, delicately crafted from stone, glass, porcelain, ivory, lacquer, enamel, and precious metals, will be on view in the galleries of the Walters’ palazzo-style court. Once personal adornments and handsome gifts, these extraordinary examples of technical and artistic virtuosity were made to hold snuff, a mixture of finely ground tobacco leaves, spices, and aromatic herbs. Snuff was valued for its stimulating effects and purported medicinal benefits, but it also became an important part of socializing in Chinese society during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). This installation is organized in conjunction with the 50th Annual Convention of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society to be held in Baltimore, Autumn 2018.
Amy Landau, PhD, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Islamic and South & Southeast Asian Art, The Walters Art Museum