A very rare and unusual enameled white glass snuff bottle Imperial, Palace workshops, Qianlong four-character mark and of the period, circa 1750-1780
Lot 154
A very rare and unusual enameled white glass snuff bottle Imperial, Palace workshops, Qianlong four-character mark and of the period, circa 1750-1780
Sold for US$ 254,000 inc. premium
Lot Details
A very rare and unusual enameled white glass snuff bottle
Imperial, Palace workshops, Qianlong four-character mark and of the period, circa 1750-1780
With flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flattened oval footrim, the opaque milky-white glass finely painted with shaped cartouches on each side framed by foliate borders, depicting on one side two conversing scholars standing on a path beneath a waterfall and towering cliffs, and on the other with two scholars crossing a bridge over a lake, all against a rare pinkish-gray 'puddingstone' ground, the mouth and footrim gilt, the foot inscribed with the reign mark in blue regular script, matching stopper.
1 7/8in (4.9cm) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 玻璃畫琺瑯彩鼻煙壺

    Provenance:
    Hugh Moss Ltd.

    Illustrated:
    'Winning Bottles in the 1975 Convention Contest', Journal. The International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, June 1974, p.24.

    An extremely small group of Qianlong-marked enameled glass landscape bottles with faux-puddingstone surrounds has long puzzled snuff bottle experts and enthusiasts alike. Only three bottles from this group, each enameled with the same two landscape scenes, are known. One, first sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 5 May 1994, lot 1323, was later sold at Christie's New York, 19 March 2008, lot 271 as part of the Meriem Collection. Another, from the Wu Mingshi Collection was sold at Hanhai Beijing, 12 January 2004, lot 2142. The Riddell Hoffman bottle is the third example.

    These bottles were initially believed to be by Ye Bengqi, the well-known enameler and faker. However, when interviewed at length in 1974 by Hugh Moss, he denied that they were produced by him, and stated that they must have either been genuine or by his father, Ye Zhongsan. However, the suggestion that Ye Zhongsan is the producer of such bottles is convincingly dispelled based largely on the fact that he was a commercial inside-painter of bottles. For this argument see H.Moss, V.Graham and K.B.Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J&J Collection, Vol.I, New York, 1993, p.357. Ye Bengqi also failed to identify the work as that of his most famous student, Wang Xisan. Wang Xisan himself was shown images of the bottles, who also denied they were his handiwork and suggested that they may be genuine. Current scholarship now identifies this exclusive group as productions of the mid to late-Qianlong period, possibly based on an early Qianlong period group of enameled landscape bottles. Examples of these early landscape bottles include another from the Meriem collection, sold at Christie's New York, 19 March 2008, lot 307; and another sold in the same rooms, 19 September 2007, lot 629.

    While early Qianlong enameled glass bottles have either very flat blue-enamel marks, or ones barely in relief, from the mid- to later reign the marks are much thicker, with the blue left in noticeable relief, as here. Compare a Qianlong period small white glass cup enameled with a very similar landscape, also with a raised four-character mark, formerly in the Jingguantang Collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 November 1996, lot 509.
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Contacts
  1. Bruce MacLaren
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
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