Tobacco pouch

Certain Qing dynasty (1644-1912) robes lacked pockets, making pouches useful accessories. But the opening of this tiny tobacco pouch is stitched closed, indicating it was purely ornamental. Chinese “double happiness” characters appear on the tassels, and both sides are embroidered with phoenixes (symbolizing the Han empress) and lotuses (symbolizing purity), suggesting it was worn by a woman.


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What does this purely ornamental pouch tell us about the value of tobacco (or the practice of smoking) in early 20th century China?

responded: May 28, 2010

Posted by Cho

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Tobacco was special enough that the pouch to hold it was very ornamentally decorated with very fine designs.

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