Examples of snuff bottles made from organic materials such as amber and coconut shell, mounted in embellished silver are illustrated by M. Hughes, The Blair Bequest. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of the Princeton University Art Museum, pp. 94-95, nos. 94-97, all of which display Mongolian or Tibetan influence, as does the present bottle, suggesting north-China manufacture. See a silver and silver-gilt snuff bottle illustrated by R. Kleiner, in Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Mary and George Bloch, p. 183, no. 247. These enameled metal mounts are also found on burl wood tea bowls common in Tibetan and Mongolian usage.
What sets this bottle apart from the group is the fine cloisonné enameling on the silver mounts. Technically cloisonné enamels, since the design consists of different colored enamels contained within raised wires, this was an alternative Palace style of the mid-Qing period, but also produced elsewhere. As is often the case with this ware, only some areas were filled with enamel.