This is a very fine, Qianlong Era (1730 - 1796) , flattened, of spade form Snuff Bottle with a round short neck, concave mouth, and flat concave oval footing. Made of a rare natural Cherry Amber, which is thought to be another form of Jet, with dark inclusions. Its sides are decorated with Foo Dog Masks with short, semi-circular handles, common on bottles made during the Early Qianlong period. The bottle is well-hollowed, with very thin walls, thus, very light in weight (0.4 ounces).
The bottle is transparent, with a cherry red color. It has a smooth and lustrous surface. It comes with a cherry amber stopper, with spoon.
"The use of small, or miniature bottles was very popular in the early decades of the 18th century. They were used as container for gifts of snuff. so as to limit the amount of snuff that would be distributed to guests or the person being treated with the gift. They were also used as containers for rare or precious snuffs. In social circles, it might have served as a status symbol; just flashing a miniature bottle was a subtle way of showing others that one had the ability to judge among the finest grades of snuff" As stated by Hugh Moss and Stuart Sargent in their book: "The Marakovic Collection".
This bottle exhibits similar characteristics (size, form, weight, temperature) as a Natural Cherry Amber Snuff Bottle that we are also listing on this store. The bottle is in excellent preserved condition.
For a similar example of the short ring handles on a snuff bottle, refer to The Marakovic Collection, Figure I.189