La Boutique du château
from the World....
The beautiful items offered for sale in Château de Reignac are all favorites that I found during my travels, or bought on auction sales.
They reflect the overall concept behind this collection, the aim of which is to pay tribute to he talent of the craftsmen in the world and to return to the traditional standards of the past.
Chinese snuff bottlesWith the new Mandchu dynasty of the Qings (1644), the Chinese discovered tobacco in the form of powder to be taken as “snuff”. Ordinary medicine bottles were first used for carrying tobacco, with decorative stoppers fitted with hermetic corks to close the openings, and tiny shovels to extract the tobacco from the bottle. But the taking of snuff became a status symbol. Along with the Emperor, the Court, high officials, officers and the Mandarin class all indulged in it, contributing to the development of the snuff bottle. The snuff bottle was a functional object but also had to reflect the status of the owner and user. In other words, it was an “objet d’art” and a new medium for the application of all the main decorative techniques of the period.
At the end of the 17th century, with the new enthusiasm shown by Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) for glass objects and the rapid development of the taking of snuff within the Forbidden City itself, the first glass snuff bottles were born: truly an Imperial creation. Under the reign of Yongzheng (1723-1735), patronage continued but the Emperor often left the Forbidden City in Beijing for the magnificent residence of the Imperial gardens in Yuanming Yuan. As a result of his keenness for the art of glass-making, he decided to transfer a part of the glass-works there. As with the previous reign, snuff bottles from this period are extremely rare today. Along with this Imperial production and the democratization of snuff bottles, private workshops also manufactured high-quality glass snuff bottles.
At the dawn of the ninetheenth century, patronage declined along with the quality of manufacture. Subsequent sovereigns did not have the rigour required to maintain the artistic level reached in an ageing China where a gradual weakening of Imperial power seemed inevitable.The decline of these arts coincides with the fall of the Qing dynasty.