Lot Details
A 'hair-crystal' double snuff bottle Possibly School of the Rustic Crystal Master, 1740–1880 A 'hair-crystal' double snuff bottle Possibly School of the Rustic Crystal Master, 1740–1880 A 'hair-crystal' double snuff bottle Possibly School of the Rustic Crystal Master, 1740–1880 A 'hair-crystal' double snuff bottle Possibly School of the Rustic Crystal Master, 1740–1880 A 'hair-crystal' double snuff bottle Possibly School of the Rustic Crystal Master, 1740–1880
A 'hair-crystal' double snuff bottle
1740–1880
5.35cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 2, no. 251

    髮晶雙連鼻煙壺
    或為拙朴水晶大師流派雕,1740-1880

    The Grandfather and Grandson Harmonious Crystal

    Crystal with inclusions of tourmaline; well hollowed into each separate vessel, each with a concave lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim; each vessel carved with a rectangular panel in low relief on all four sides
    Possibly School of the Rustic Crystal Master, 1740–1880
    Height: 5.35 cm (smaller vessel: 4.68 cm)
    Mouth/lip: larger vessel 0.5/1.27 and 1.22 cm (oval); smaller vessel 0.48/1.18 and 1.2 cm (oval)
    Stoppers: nephrite; coral collars

    Condition: Original material: Suffused with icy flaws and iridescence, with one more prominent one on the shoulder of the larger segment (top left if the smaller bottle is on your right); miniscule chip to outer lip, practically invisible; one very small chip on the outer corner of the footrim of the larger segment

    Provenance:
    Christie's, New York, 7 June 1993, lot 193

    Published:
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 206
    Treasury 2, no. 251

    Exhibited:
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995

    Commentary:
    There is enormous potential for formal diversity in combining similar shapes as multiples; here we have the linking of different-sized containers of the same basic form. The joined narrow sides, being flat, do not require any truncation of the vertical profile to achieve a strong bond, as is necessary with joined cylinders, for instance, while the different sizes of the two vessels dictate that each retain its independent raised panel on the narrow side. Had the two been of the same size, a single raised panel could have stretched across both containers. This combination of two different sizes of the same shape is a rather rare form, despite its obviousness, but of course twinned containers are uncommon in any case, and there are many other options to explore when one does decide to make conjoined snuff bottles.

    Different coloured stoppers can be used to differentiate between different brands of snuff. The same role may have been played by two different sized containers of this kind, where one is never in doubt as to which container holds which snuff. In this case, therefore, the matched stoppers are entirely appropriate. Of course, aesthetically there would be no problem with adding asymmetrical stoppers to an asymmetrical form, and the exercise is well worth entertaining if for no other reason than to demonstrate the point that re-stoppering bottles has such enormous potential in the overall aesthetic.

    The material here is impressive and well suffused with iridescence (though this not captured in the photography). Its use is masterly. The concentration of the denser inclusions in the larger vessel accentuates the distinction between the two containers. They sing in harmony rather than in unison and are the more complex and satisfying for it.

    In the rock aesthetic of China there is a series of rocks that are designated as grandfather and grandson rocks, two rocks mounted together to create the image of a wise old sage and his callow charge. The significance of this association is that in ancient Chinese culture, the parents of children had less time for their offspring than did the older generation. Since all families lived as extended units, it often fell to the grandparents to bring up the children. They were the ones with the time to devote to intellectual and moral example and they had the wisdom for the job. For an emotionally-charged example in the rock aesthetic, see Tsang, Moss, and Ribeiro 1986, no. 78.

    The hollowing out of these bottles is distinctive; the inner profile follows the outer with great accuracy and confidence while leaving an intentionally thick wall. Many of the wide range of bottles linked to the school of the Rustic Crystal Master (to whom we attribute Sale 1, lot 4) are similarly hollowed, including most of those attributed to the master himself (see Treasury 2, nos. 254, 255 and 256, for instance). For another double bottle attributable to the school, see Treasury 2, no. 252.

    祖孫水晶壺

    帶碧璽雜質的水晶;掏膛完整,各壺呈凹唇,微凸斂底,突出圈足,足底完全接觸地面
    或為拙朴水晶大師流派雕,1740~1880年
    高﹕ 5.35 厘米 (小壺﹕4.68 厘米)
    口經/唇經: 大壺﹕0.5/1.27 及 1.22 厘米 (橢圓形); 小壺﹕ 0.48/1.18 及 1.2 厘米 (橢圓形)
    蓋: 閃玉;珊瑚座

    狀態敘述:
    石材﹕充滿暈彩,大壺肩部呈比較大的暈彩色缺口(如果小壺在右,蓋缺口就在上左邊);唇外緣呈微乎其微的缺口幾乎看不見;大壺圈足外緣亦呈現一個很小的缺口

    來源:
    佳士得, 紐約,1993年6月7日,拍賣品號 193

    文獻:
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 206
    Treasury 2, 編號251

    展覽﹕
    香港藝術館,1994年3 月~6月
    National Museum of Singapore, 1994年11月~1995年2月

    說明:
    只有自己拿起來觀賞才能看清本雙連形煙壺的材料發出燦爛的光輝,但看照片也可以欣賞大小壺間碧璽分配的對襯。

    跟此類煙壺很多例子一樣,本壺掏膛規整,隨壺身形狀成形,然並不是薄壁。拙朴水晶大師 (參照 Sale 1, 拍賣品號 4) 的作品常常是這樣;參見Treasury 2, 編號 254、255以及256。
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