A black overlay white glass snuff bottle

18th/19th century

the rounded bottle carved through the black overlay to the opaque white ground on one side with a crane standing below a pine tree and beside lingzhi, the reverse with a deer beside a further pine tree, the sides decorated with mask-and-ring handles, coral stopper

height 5.5 cm without stopper

from a Dutch private collection acquired prior to the 1980’s

Black is one of the rarer colours to be used for glass snuff bottles, and creates an attractive silhouette effect on the even white ground. Crane, deer, pine tree and lingzhi are all symbols which represent longevity. Deer are often depicted in combination with lingzhi, as they were believed to be the only animals able to locate the fungus.

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