Description & Technical information

Qianlong period 
English or French Market
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.


Date:  1740-50
Period:  1600-1750, 18th century
Origin:  China
Medium: Mother of pearl, Glass
Dimensions: 9 cm (3¹/₂ inches)
Literature: References: Howard 1997, p243, No 334, a group of mother of pearl gaming counters.

Categories: Oriental and Asian Art