CLOISONNÉ ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE

£550

When I first saw this snuff bottle, I assumed it was Russian, made around 1900. Although un-marked, the enamelling technique and the colours of the shaded enamel were so typical of the best Russian work of the period that I was convinced. Later, thinking about it, I concluded that a snuff bottle was n't a very Russian item, and Russians were also pretty fierce about hall-marking. Although the bottle is silver-gilt, it bears no marks of any kind. Then I looked at the green enamel down the sides and China sprang into my mind - and now I am sure that is what it is - a Chinese snuff bottle copying - which the Chinese are famous for - Russian cloisonné enamel technique and colouring. The top is quite a tight fit, but not liquid-proof. It would have had an ivory spoon attached to extract the snuff. Whatever, it is a very decorative and beautiful item, with an overall height of 2 3/4 inches: 71 mm.