Snuff was also believed to aid in stopping indigestion. During mid to late 16th century, tobacco was introduced; it was smoked in pipes before the era of the Qing dynasty. Snuff usages was centered in Beijing, China.
The 'Hsiang tsu pi-chi', a document written in the early 18th century recorded that snuff was made in Beijing around this time. Mint, camphor and jasmine were added to snuff during that time and are added even now.
Usage of snuff and snuff vials or bottles spread to the upper class and it became a part of social customs i.e. using snuff by the end of the 17th century and most of the 18th century. Snuff bottles were used by the Chinese people to greet their friends and relatives. From being in social rituals, snuff bottles started becoming objects of beauty and status symbols. Whoever had the rarest and finest snuff bottles had the highest status. The highest number of snuff bottles made was during the 18th century. After the republic of China was established, the using of snuff died away. But replica snuff bottles are still manufactured and you can purchase snuff bottles in souvenir shops, flea markets and museum gift shops.
A snuff bottle
is small enough to fit snugly in your palm. Snuff bottles were manufactured from many different materials such as porcelain, jade, ivory, wood, tortoiseshell, metal, ceramic and so forth. Despite the availability of so many materials, glass was the most popularly used in snuff bottles. The Chinese treated glass like a precious stone, by mixing metal oxides the glass could be made into exquisite glass sculptures. The glass came from Shantung though the cutting was done in Beijing.