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Beginning the Qing Dynasty (mid-1600's), tobacco reached China from the Americas via Japan. It was ground to a fine powder, with herbs and oils added. The Chinese used their traditional medicine bottles for storage, rather than wooden snuff boxes. For the next 100 years the habit of taking snuff retained within the Royal Palaces, until the mid-1800's when it spread over the whole of China.
Beautiful bottles were made from ceramic, glass, enamel, ivory, and agate. Metal ones in Tibet. They were carved, painted, and overlaid, with inside painted bottles appearing around 1850. However, cigarettes then began to replace snuff. Resulting in snuff bottles designed to collect.