REF No. 6071
chinese export mother of pearl and glass snuff box


Qianlong period circa 1740-50
English or French Market
Length: 3½ inches; 9cm

A rare and unusual Chinese export snuff box, the sides and base made from incised mother-of-pearl, the lid from glass with a ‘reverse painted’ European lady, the metal mounts European.



This is an elegant example of a Chinese export snuff box, made in yet another material. The sides and base are made from mother-of-pearl which is incised with floral patterns. This material was used in the export trade, mainly to make gambling counters, sticks for fans and inlay for lacquered furniture.
The lid is delicately painted with a pretty woman dressed seductively with a necklace and fur cape. She sits in front of drawn back curtains symbolising the bedroom - the invitation is clear. It is painted in reverse on the back of a small bevelled glass panel.

References: Howard 1997, p243, No 334, a group of mother of pearl gaming counters.

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chinese export mother of pearl and glass snuff box