AUD $88.00

Uzbek , Gourd Snuff Bottle

An Uzbek or Chinese “tobacco snuff” bottle, made from a living Bottle Gourd, intriguingly grown to shape, bound between two carved wooden or ceramic panels, to accurately mould to the desired form, like wet leather.
Actually it looks like old, polished, embossed leather, too!

It has acquired a very lovely warm, rich chestnut tone and the silver throat has a mellow patina to match.
Missing its cap or plug, sometimes they only use a leather plug or tassel, although these may be improvised.
There are all sorts of folklore surrounding the “bottle gourd”, one of the eight auspicious Taoist symbols, used throughout Chinese design.
These very practical gourds, are used in many forms, including instruments, bowls, waterpipes,spoons and ladles.

As more good examples become available, we’ll post them, as I feel there is a perfect affordable collectable, to be had in these Gourd Snuff Bottles.

We had more written up, but they’ve sold before the website got up, (hmmm.)

They are really lovely to handle, light and sculptural, very comforting in the hand.

*Note for collectors, they have that special advantage, “they don’t take up much space!”

Also, so far I haven’t seen any two the same!*
This one feels both Uzbek with its silverwork and possibly Chinese in its binding, however there is a wide use of these small gourds for snuffbottles in Uzbekistan, and the binding can be learnt. Could it be Khirgiz or Uighur?

Interesting to read that snuff (like coffee) was originally frowned on for its ecstatic qualities.
Pope Urban VIII, threatened to excommunicate Snuff takers, because he felt that induced sneezing was too close to sexual orgasm, to be tolerated.
Our “Bless You” following a sneeze is said to be “Plague” related, but also stops the Devil taking us during the moment of death, as the heart skips a beat when we sneeze.

We may still have a few similar pieces to see them just search for "snuff bottle" on this site.

Age: Early/Mid 20th century.

Size: L 120 mm x W 65 mm.

Weight: 40 grams.