Wang Xisan inside painted dogs after Castiglione.
Lot 109
An inside-painted yellow glass snuff bottle Wang Xisan, dated 1969 (the bottle 1770-1850)
Sold for HK$ 180,000 (US$ 23,225) inc. premium
Lot Details
An inside-painted yellow glass snuff bottle
Wang Xisan, dated 1969 (the bottle 1770-1850)
sold with accompanying watercolour by Peter Suart
6.27cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 4, no. 666


    黃色玻璃內畫二駿犬圖鼻煙壺
    壺:1770~1850
    內畫:王習三,1969年


    Wang Xisan's Masterly Threat to the Art

    Yellow glass, ink, and watercolours; with a flat lip and protruding flat foot with a groove carved around it to separate out a footrim; painted with a continuous garden scene with a cypress tree and a convoluted rock formation in which are set two dogs copied from paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione, one standing, scratching its ear, with a seal, dongwu (animal), above in negative seal script, the other seated, inscribed in regular script, 'Executed in imitation of the painting ideas of Lang Shining during the last month of the summer in the year jiyou at Yihu zhai (One Bottle Studio)', with one seal of the artist, Xisan, in negative seal script

    Bottle: 1770–1850
    Painting: Wang Xisan, One Bottle Studio, Hengshui, Hebei province, 1969
    Height: 6.27 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.65/1.90 cm
    Stopper: carnelian; glass collar
    Condition: Old bottle: the outer footrim irregular, possibly the result of the removal of chips, but possibly just because it was not a particularly elegantly formed nineteenth-century bottle in any case; some extensive wear on the footrim suggesting that the lesser degree of wear on the outer surface indicates some level of re-polishing at some state, although some abrasions and scratches have occurred since. Painting: studio condition


    Illustration: watercolour by Peter Suart

    Provenance:
    C. F. Turner
    Sotheby's, London, 23 October 1970, lot 239 (bought Stanton)
    Sotheby's, London, 6 May 1986, lot 285

    Published:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 310
    Illustrated London News, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Orient Express Magazine, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Prestige, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Galeries Lafayette 1990, p. 11, no. 2
    Arts of Asia, September-October 1990, p. 98
    Kleine Schätze aus China, p. 10
    Kleiner 1994, p. 42, Pl. 24, lower right
    Kleiner 1995, no. 433
    Chinese Snuff Bottles in the Collection of Mary and George Bloch (illustrated folder) Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July 1997
    Treasury 4, no. 666

    Exhibited:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Galeries Lafayette, Paris, April 1990
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
    British Museum, London, June–November 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997
    Christie's, London, 1999

    Commentary
    This lovely painting has always been considered to be one of Wang Xisan's masterpieces, and it is superbly painted, of that there is no question. Inherent in it, however, is one of the most serious threats to the art form which was to manifest itself in later years in the works of Wang's students. As an inventive artist, Wang Xisan sought inspiration from any source, and was often moved to paint after the style or even after an individual painting by earlier painters. The superb Treasury 4, no. 662 is such a bottle, as is this. These two depictions of dogs are copied from two hanging scrolls which belong to a set of ten entitled Shijun tu (Ten Splendid Dogs) now in the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, the 'golden-winged hound' (e-card) and the 'mottled brocade tiger cub' (e-card). He has copied the two dogs exactly. But by blending the two into a single work of art and altering the setting, Wang has borrowed from Castiglione while painting his own work of art, as he always had. But the idea of copying from existing paintings opened up the floodgates for his many students. To shift artistic intent from creating a work of art to copying it, is to walk on thin ice aesthetically, particularly in a medium where one is never on too solid a footing in any case because of the inherent risk of trivialization contained in the medium itself. From that point onwards, particularly among students without Wang's long-standing sense of his own artistic tradition, there is a tendency to look for images to put inside a bottle, rather than to use the inside of a bottle as a place to create individual works of art. The moment that happens, you can say goodbye to the art as it slips back into the commercial banality from which Wang Xisan had single-handedly saved it during his golden years.

    Lang Shining was the Chinese name of Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), a Jesuit painter from Milan who served the Chinese court in the eighteenth century, painting an extraordinary series of masterpieces in one of the most successful fusions of Western and Chinese style ever achieved. According to the inscription on the original painting, the name given to the dog scratching its ear was Jinchi xian (Dog with Gilded Wings). This prized dog was offered as a tribute item to the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736–1795) by Danborincin, a fourth-rank taisha from the Khorchins, one of the Mongolian tribes that had moved into Manchuria at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Its Manchu name means 'Tibetan dog' (see Zhuang Jifa 1992, p. 145). The other beast, seated looking back over its shoulder, was called Banjin biao (Tiger-cat [Wearing] Striped Brocade). It was offered to the Qianlong emperor by Fu Heng (d. 1769), a Grand Secretary and a Duke of the First Rank with the Designation Zhongyong (Faithful and Courageous). In 1760 his second son, Fulong'an (1743 or 1746–1784) had the honour of marrying Princess Hejia, the fourth daughter of the Qianlong emperor.


    王習三模擬郎世寧:內畫藝術的精彩凶兆

    黃色玻璃、墨、水色;平唇、突出平底,底緣內有一條小溝線以劃出圈足;內畫模擬郎世寧十駿犬圖中的金翅獫圖與斑錦彪圖而拼合成通體宮苑景物,金翅獫上繪白文"動物"一篆印,斑錦彪上書 "仿郎世寧畫意,時在己酉李夏,一壺齋",後繪白文"習三"一篆印

    壺:1770~1850
    內畫:王習三,河北省衡水市一壺齋,1969年
    高:6.27 厘米
    口經/唇經:0.65/1.90 厘米
    蓋:紅玉髓,玻璃座
    狀態敘述:舊壺:圈足外緣不整齊,或因曾修補缺口,或因十九世紀的製作本來不精工,圈足磨損比腹表多,可能是意味著腹外壁有所拋光,儘管拋光後也遭了些撞擊和摩擦;內畫:出齋狀態

    有彼德小話 (Peter Suart) 水彩畫

    來源:
    C. F. Turner
    蘇富比,倫敦,1970年10月23日,拍賣品號239
    蘇富比,倫敦,1986年5月6日,拍賣品號285
    文獻﹕
    Kleiner 1987, 編號310
    Illustrated London News, 1990年夏期,頁49
    Orient Express Magazine, 1990年夏期,頁49
    Prestige, 1990年夏期,頁49
    Galeries Lafayette 1990, 頁11,編號2
    Arts of Asia, 1990年9 月~10月,頁98
    Kleine Schätze aus China, 頁10
    Kleiner 1994, 頁42,插圖24,下右
    Kleiner 1995, 編號433
    Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Mary and George Bloch(折疊式插圖印刷品),Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7 月
    Treasury 5, 編號748
    展覽﹕
    香港藝術館,1978年10 月至12月
    L'Arcade Chaumet, 巴黎、布魯塞爾、阿姆斯特丹,1982年6月~8月
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd, 倫敦, 1987年10 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
    佳士得,倫敦,1999年

    說明:
    本壺兩幅模擬郎世寧十駿犬圖中的金翅獫圖與斑錦彪圖的內畫向來很有名。王習三畫的狗和原畫的一模一樣。不過, 他也把兩幅的不同背景聯結在一起,形成了通體的御苑風景,不失為新的藝術品。不幸的是,他的徒弟只懂找圖像可以壺裏臨摹的多,懂用內壁的幅度創造獨立的藝術品的少,他們忙著依樣畫葫蘆。若王習三給賣本事的徒弟開方便之門,內畫藝術就瀕於陷入雕蟲小技了。

    金翅獫是蒙古族科爾沁部落的一位四等台吉,丹巴林親(Danborincin),所進貢的。滿文的名字是 'yolotu', 就是"西藏狗"的意思。斑錦彪是太學士傅恒(約1721~1770)所進貢的。滿文的名字是 'junggintu', 就是"各色絨織的碎花錦緞"的意思。參閱莊吉發1992,頁145、146。
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first HKD800,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from HKD800,001 to HKD1,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over HKD1,000,000 of the Hammer Price.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.