Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Jiaqing iron-red seal mark and of the period, 17961820 7.1cm high.
Treasury 6, no. 1245
One of Eight
Famille rose enamels on colourless glaze on cobalt on porcelain; with a flat lip and slightly convex foot; painted with a continuous garden scene with flowering peonies growing behind a convoluted, perforated rock formation and beneath a blooming magnolia tree, a branch of which comes down from the top of the scene on the other main side of the bottle and graces a depiction of a scholar holding a folding fan and seated in front of an ornamental rock dominating one narrow side, his servant boy standing in front of him in an open area bordered by a low fence, holding a vase of peonies, the scene framed top and bottom in underglaze-blue, detailed in gold enamel, with a formalized design of a band of lotus petals around the base and lingzhi around the shoulders beneath a neck band of flower heads, the foot inscribed in iron-red seal script, Jiaqing nian zhi (Made during the Jiaqing period); the lip painted gold, the interior glazed Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, 17961820 Height: 7.1 cm Mouth/lip: 0.60/1.74 cm Stopper: gold enamel on colourless glaze on porcelain, moulded with a formalized chrysanthemum design; not original Condition: very small chip on the underside of the lip at the upper neck-rim (0.35 x 0.20 cm) not very well restored; otherwise, in extraordinary condition with practically no surface wear. General relative condition: except for the chips, kiln condition. Stopper: twentieth century
Provenance: Galia Baylin Sotheby's, New York, 3 October 1980, lots 98 and 99 Hugh M. Moss Ltd., (1980) Belfort Collection
Published: JICSBS, March 1976, p. 16, figs. 87, 88, and 89 Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty 1978, p. 84, no. 113 Jutheau 1980, p. 88, fig. 2 Très précieuses tabatières chinoises, p. 5, figs. 7 and 8 Kleiner 1987, no. 222 Galeries Lafayette 1990, p. 8, no. 4 Kleine Schätze aus China, cover and p. 9 Agrar Post, Vienna, 9 June 1993, p. 20 CA Live, Die Mitarbeiterzeitung der Creditanstalt, no. 3, 1993, p. 11 Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 142 Kleiner 1995, no. 201 Treasury 6, no. 1245
Exhibited: Hong Kong Museum of Art, OctoberDecember 1978 L'Arcade Chaumet, Paris, June 1982 Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987 Galeries Lafayette, Paris, April 1990 Creditanstalt, Vienna, MayJune 1993 Hong Kong Museum of Art, MarchJune 1994 National Museum of Singapore, November 1994February 1995 British Museum, London, JuneOctober 1995 Israel Museum, Jerusalem, JulyNovember 1997
Commentary: This and the next, lot 108 (Treasury 6, no. 1246), are part of the famous set of eight bottles that was dealt with in Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, nos. 212 and 213. Apparently coming out of China in the 1960s, the set was split into pairs and sold to four prominent Hong Kong collectors. Apart from the pair offered here, the two in the J & J Collection came from the Arthur Gadsby Collection; two were in the Stempel Collection (Sotheby's PB84, New York, 11 October 1979, lot 63, thence to the Dane Collection and Skinner's, 26 April, 2008, lot 174), and two in the B. T. Lyons Collection (Sotheby's, London, 20 April 1982, lots 82 and 83, re-offered as part of the Exstein Collection in Christie's, New York, 21 March 2002, lots 71 and 72, and thence to the Meriem Collection and Christie's, New York, 19 September, 2007, lot 706 and Christie's, New York, 19 March, 2008, lot 216).
As a rule, imperial porcelain bottles were made in sets of ten or even twenty, although smaller sets do exist. It is possible, therefore, that these eight magnificent bottles were once part of a larger set. The unworn condition of the known examples suggests that they made their way to Hong Kong from the imperial collection and were perhaps originally in a boxed set, for gold enamel wears very easily; there seems little chance that all eight would survive until the twentieth century without a scratch on them unless they were protected in the imperial collection. Given the sacking of the Summer palace and the nearby Yuanming yuan in 1860; the Allied invasion at the time of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900; the needs of the deposed emperor living in the Forbidden City for twelve years after the formation of the Republic with no source of funds other than the disposal of art treasures and other palace assets; the widespread corruption and disruption of the Republican period, and some sticky-fingered activities thereafter, the imperial collection has proved somewhat porous in the past. Museums and collections the world over are full of masterpieces from this vast treasure trove. We suspect that this set, along with quite a few other mint-condition masterpieces that are currently in our collections, have come from this source by one route or another.
As we pointed out in the J & J volume, sets of imperial porcelains were standard during the mid-Qing period. Many remain in the imperial collection in Taipei, some in their original storage boxes (see Chang 1991, nos. 74, 75, 79, 80, 8395), although no other set is quite like this rare group. On these sets and Qianlong and Jiaqing porcelain bottles in general, a standard method of formalizing the character nian (year) on seal-script marks creates a rectangular maze. On this set the same character is drawn with an alternative formalization that lacks the enclosing lines on each vertical side and across the top of the character. It is equally correct as a formalization, but it is a rare choice for a mid-Qing reign mark. This is another of the features that sets this group apart.
There are several layers of meaning embedded in the two bottles in the Bloch Collection that, when added to the others in the set, represent a very wide range of auspicious symbolism. In the scene of the scholar relaxing in his garden, the vase (ping) of peonies held by the attendant conveys the meaning of the idiomatic expression, Ping'an fugui ([May you be blessed with] personal safety and wealth), the peonies representing wealth. The magnolia (yulan) and the peonies together evoke another idiomatic expression: Yutangfugui ([May your] magnificent hall [be filled with] riches). The ruyi shaped formulation of the lingzhi-heads around the shoulders represent wish fulfilment and the repeated lotus (lian)-petal motif around the base may have been intended as a pun on nian, eliciting the term niannian (year after year) to indicate the ongoing nature of all the auspicious omens.
景德鎮官窯，1796～1820 高：7.1 厘米 口經/唇經：0.60/1.74 厘米 蓋：陶瓷無色釉上施金彩，模印形式化菊花，非原件 狀態敘述：捲唇下有修補不甚好的微小（0.35 x 0.20厘米）缺口，此外表面磨耗異常地少；一般相對的狀態：除缺口外，作坊狀態；蓋子：二十世紀作的
來源： Galia Baylin 蘇富比，紐約，1980年10月3日，拍賣品號98、99 Hugh M. Moss, Ltd (1980) Belfort珍藏 文獻： 《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》Journal of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, 1976年3 月， 頁16，圖87、88、89 Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty 1978, 頁84，編號113 Jutheau 1980, 頁 88, 圖 2 Très précieuses tabatières chinoises，頁5，圖7、8 Galeries Lafayette 1990, 頁8，編號4 Kleiner 1987, 編號222 Kleine Schätze aus China, 封面、頁9 Agrar-Post, 1993年6月9日， 頁20 CA Live, die Mitarbeiterzeitung der Creditanstalt, 第3 號，1993年，頁11 Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 142
Kleiner 1995, 編號 201 Treasury 6， 編號1245 展覽﹕ 香港藝術館，1978年10 月至12月 L'Arcade Chaumet, 巴黎，1982年6月 Sydney L. Moss Ltd, 倫敦, 1987年10 月 Galeries Lafayette, 巴黎，1990年4月 Creditanstalt, 維也納, 1993年5月～6月 香港藝術館，1994年3 月～6月 National Museum of Singapore, 1994年11月～1995年1月 大英博物館, 倫敦, 1995年6月～10 月 Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷, 1997年7月～11月