The habit of taking snuff (inhaling powdered tobacco) spread to China from the West following the establishment of the Qing dynasty in 1644. While the smoking of tobacco was forbidden at that time, snuff was regarded as a remedy for a wide variety of diseases. Powdered tobacco and other Chinese medicines were dispensed in bottles rather than in boxes, as was customary in Europe. Snuff bottles were made of various materials, including hardstones, porcelain, ivory, and glass. The glass in many snuff bottles imitated semiprecious stones. Most of these bottles were oval with flattened sides, making them easy to carry. Small stoppers, often in contrasting colors, were attached to tiny spoons used for taking the snuff. The best bottles were carved, enameled, or painted on the inside with tiny landscapes, portraits, or inscriptions.