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: Apr 4, 2012

Posted by Alex Iammarino

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this is for VIC 224 at the University of Toronto. This is not a tobacco pouch. It is actually an aromatic drawstring pouch, which is likely from a set. They were stuffed with aromatic herbs or scented cotton, and worn around the waist on a girdle known as a chao dai. For the creative component of my assignment I needed to upload a creative component, so I made my own drawstring pouch, with scented herbs.

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