Long Brown Silk Chain with Antique Agate & Silver Chinese Snuff Bottle
- This is a wonderful, antique, Ching Dynasty (1644-1911) agate snuff Bottle has a replaced sterling silver top and chain, which opens to reveal the lovely agate interior. Judging by the style and patina, it is probably from the early 19th century, or even, possibly the late 18th century. The striated markings and mottling on the translucent agate (different on both sides), are beautiful; these markings are something the Chinese would have valued. It is 5 cm high (with lid), 3.5 cm wide and 18 mm deep. It has a tiny agate platform on which it could (precariously) stand.
- Snuff bottles were used by the Chinese during the Ching Dynasty to hold powdered tobacco. Smoking tobacco was illegal but the use of snuff (powdered tobacco) was permitted because the Chinese thought snuff was a good remedy for colds, headaches and stomach disorders. Considered as precious containers for snuff, these bottles were initially made for the emperor and his court. Eventually they were produced in great numbers for a public who enjoyed their usefulness and their display as a symbol of status. Because they vary in style, material and artistry, snuff bottles have become enormously collectable.
- Above the snuff bottle, there is a fine, handmade sterling silver bead (18 mm) made by the Karen hill tribes in Thailand. These beads are individually created, like mini sculptures of 98% pure silver.
- A carved turquoise magnesite bead (13 mm), like a ball of yarn, sits on top of the turquoise bead.
- And lastly, there is an etched, vintage brown jade bead (12 mm) next to a sterling silver bead (5.5 mm).
- All the elements hang on a handmade chocolate silk/polyester chain, which, on one of the rings hangs my silver name label.
- The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with its own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor.
- Length 58 cm (23").