A puce-enamel porcelain 'dragon and carp' snuff bottle Daoguang iron-red seal mark and of the period, Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, 1821–1850
Lot 140
A ruby-red enamelled porcelain 'dragon and carp' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red seal mark and of the period, 1821–1850
Sold for HK$ 288,000 (US$ 37,145) inc. premium
Lot Details
A ruby-red enamelled porcelain 'dragon and carp' snuff bottle
Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red seal mark and of the period, 1821–1850
5.48cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 6, no. 1312

    瓷胎畫胭脂紅魚龍變化圖鼻煙壺
    景德鎮官窯,鐵紅「道光年製」篆款,1821-1850

    Synchronized Scholarship

    Ruby-pink and iron-red enamels on colourless glaze on porcelain; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding convex footrim; painted with a continuous design of an imperial five-clawed dragon amidst formalized clouds and flickering flames above formalized waves, from which two carp leap, their upper bodies out of the water and their tails curled upwards to break free of the waves; the foot inscribed in iron-red seal script Daoguang nian zhi ('Made during the Daoguang period'); the lip, inner neck, and interior glazed
    Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, 1821–1850
    Height: 5.48 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.66/1.87 cm
    Stopper: tourmaline; gilt-silver collar

    Condition: some abrasions to lip; minor wear to the protruding areas on both main sides, not obtrusive. General relative condition: excellent

    Provenance:
    Robert Hall (1979)
    Gerd Lester (1986)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 232
    Treasury 6, no. 1312

    Exhibited:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd, London, October 1987
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993

    Commentary:
    Apart from the shape, which is typical of the Daoguang imperial kilns, the work here would be credible as coming from the Qianlong period. The design and painting are both exceptional, and the control of the pink enamel is impressive. It also has a singular combination of two shades of pink, one used as a line and the other as a wash, in a rare departure from standard, ruby-enamel usage on snuff-bottles.

    The design is a visual representation of the phrase Li yue Longmen, 'Carp surpassing at Dragonsgate Gorge', an expression that refers to passing the civil service examinations, a promotion, or successful struggle against the currents of life. At the 'Dragonsgate' (Longmen) on the Yellow River, carp swimming upstream to spawn have a particularly arduous task leaping the falls in order to triumph after their long journey. Those who succeed are said to transform into dragons. In art this significant transformation is often symbolised by a creature that is half fish, half dragon. Here the two are shown separately, and the dragon has five claws. In theory, such a dragon should represent the emperor, but during the mid-nineteenth-century protocols governing its exclusive use began to break down.

    Whatever the meaning, the painting is magnificent. It is one of the joys of the snuff bottle that it spanned the artistic spectrum from mindlessly mass-produced containers to high art – from carp to five-clawed dragon, as it were – and across that span this little gem has made significant progress. No finer ruby-pink enamelled bottle is known from the Daoguang period.

    龍門水上芭蕾舞

    瓷胎,無色釉上胭脂紅、鐵紅琺瑯;平唇, 平面斂底, 突出凸形圈足;繪通體魚龍變化圖,二五爪龍翱翔於天,彩雲環佈;二鯉魚浮出水面,有魚躍成龍、出人頭地之吉祥意義;底鐵紅書" 道光年製 "無框篆款; 唇、頸內、腹內壁皆施釉
    景德鎮官窯, 1821~1850 年
    高:5.48 厘米
    口經/唇經:0.66/1.87 厘米
    蓋:碧璽, 描金銀座

    狀態敘述:
    唇有所磨耗;兩正面突出處呈微不足道的磨損,不引人注目。總體的相對狀況: 極善

    來源:
    羅伯特.霍爾 (1979)
    Gerd Lester (1986)

    文獻:
    Kleiner 1987, 編號232
    Treasury 6, 編號1312

    展覽:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd, 倫敦, 1987年10月
    Creditanstalt, 維也納, 1993年5月~6月

    說明:
    這是道光官窯最出色的胭脂畫琺瑯鼻煙壺,詳細的欣賞,請參閱本壺的英文說明。

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