This wonderful Chinese snuff bottle is carved of rare, mint-green quartz. Depicting a bird perched in a tree, this bottle also features an amethyst cap with an attached metal spoon. Works of skillful and attentive artistry, snuff containers were objects of beauty as well as utility. Comprised of powdered tobacco, usually blended with aromatic herbs or spices, snuff was first taken in the West and spread to China during the 17th century, becoming an established habit established in the 18th century. The most common way of carrying snuff was in a small bottle such as this, though ornate boxes were fashionable with the upperclasses. Today, these bottles are among the most popular collectors’ items, due to the great variety of materials and decorative techniques used in their production. To find such an early example of such excellent quality is truly rare.