An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, dated 1918
Lot 142
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, dated 1918
Sold for HK$ 168,000 (US$ 21,673) inc. premium

Lot Details
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, dated 1918 An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, dated 1918 An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, dated 1918 An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, dated 1918
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle
Ye Zhongsan, dated 1918
7.78cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 4, no. 648

    水晶內畫百子圖鼻煙壺
    葉仲三,1918年作

    An inside-painted rock-crystal 'hundred boys' snuff bottle

    ('The Ye Family's Missing Son')

    Pale brown crystal, ink, and watercolours; with a flat lip and recessed, flat, rounded-rectangular foot surrounded by a protruding, rounded footrim of the same shape;painted inside with a continuous composition of ninety-nine boys playing various games in a garden with a leafy tree, inscribed in draft script, 'Executed by Ye Zhongsan in an autumn month of the year wuwu,' with one seal of the artist, yin ('seal'), in negative seal script
    Bottle: 1760–1880
    Painting: Ye family, the Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, mid-autumn, 1918
    Height: 7.78 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.8/2.2 cm
    Stopper: tourmaline; vinyl collar

    Condition:Material:some icy flaws at one shoulder incorporated in painting, possibly a bruise in the earlier bottle which the artist incorporated in the design.Bottle: Practically invisible, insignificant chip in outer lip.Painting: studio condition

    Provenance:
    H.G. Beasley (1919)
    Miss M.A. Beasley
    Sotheby's London, 2 July 1984, lot 112
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1985)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 279
    The Illustrated London News, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Orient Express Magazine, Summer1990, p. 49
    Prestige, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Treasury 4, no. 648

    Exhibited:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
    Christie's, London, 1999

    Commentary
    Any large number of boys playing is often referred to as a 'Picture of One
    Hundred Boys' (Baizi tu).The inherent meaning is a wish for the blessing of abundant descendants, but in this case there are only ninety-nine, despite previous catalogue entries.It is likely that Ye was referring very precisely to the story of the Duke of Zhou (1231–1135 B.C.) who had ninety-nine children of his own and yet generously adopted one more whom he found abandoned in a field, from which the subject of one hundred boys seems to have derived (seeMoss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, no. 439).When the subject is found on earlier works of art, the number of children is often ninety-nine.

    The artist has managed to keep a potentially chaotic subject entirely coherent, and he has done this by the very clever use of the different colours of the children's clothing.By treating each different colour as an abstract formal shape and balancing them against each other most impressively, the jumble of boys, overlapping each other and forming an almost solid mass all around the body of the bottle, becomes a coherent subject.The most obvious example of this is with the red jackets, but the same is equally true of the blue, green, yellow, and pink ones, which are similarly well interspersed to retain a harmonious balance, while at the same time separating the different children.It is deftly achieved.

    As to which artist we are dealing with here, it would be nice to assume that it is Ye Zhongsan himself, since it is such an unusual painting for the family, but we refer to our comment under lot 56 in the current sale about the difficulties of identifying individual artists within the studio at this time.The only clue we have that it is likely to be by Ye Zhongsan rather than by Bengzhen is the account from Wang Xisan.His teachers told him that Ye Zhongsan had painted the subject.If anyone knew who did what, it was them, and if they say it was their father who painted the subject of one hundred boys, then presumably it was.Our only reason for not using this clue more positively is that it is not entirely clear whether Xiaofeng and Bengqi would have known precisely who was responsible for paintings produced prior to the time they joined the studio. When interviewed by Moss in 1974, Bengqi seemed unable to identify paintings other than his own with any consistency, despite a number of attempts over a two-week period.

    水晶內畫百子圖鼻煙壺

    淡姜黃色水晶、墨、水彩顏料;平唇,平斂底,突出圓棱圈足;內畫通景九十九子圖 ,題"戊午秋月葉仲三作",後加白文"印"篆印
    壺:1760–1880
    內畫:葉仲三家族,北京崇文區杏林齋,1918年仲秋
    高:7.78 厘米
    口經/唇經:0.8/2.2 厘米
    蓋: 碧璽; 乙烯基座

    狀態敘述: 質地: 一肩部呈如冰瑕形狀裂痕,被畫成圖畫的一部分,應為水晶壺原有的擦傷。 壺:唇外沿有微乎其微、幾乎看不見的缺口。內畫:出齋狀態

    拍賣品號 142 之來源:
    H.G. Beasley (1919)
    Miss M.A. Beasley
    Sotheby's London, 2 July 1984, 拍賣品號 112
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1985)

    文獻:
    Kleiner 1987, 編號 279
    The Illustrated London News, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Orient Express Magazine, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Prestige, Summer 1990, p. 49
    Treasury 4, 編號 648

    展覽:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
    Christie's, London, 1999

    說明:
    明代小說《封神演義》說"西伯侯有四乳,二十四妃,生九十九子"等等,晚清小說《施公案》第二十七回中提到周"文王曾生百子,八十五歲而生周公旦,九十九子, "可知九十九子圖的根源在通俗小說中。
Auction information

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

Contacts
  1. Vincent Wu
    Auction Administration - Chinese Paintings
    Bonhams
    Work
    Suite 2001, One Pacific Place
    Hong Kong
    Work + 852 3607 0016
  2. Meilin Wang
    Specialist - Chinese Paintings
    Bonhams
    Work
    Suite 2001, One Pacific Place
    Hong Kong
    Work +852 2918 4321
    FaxFax: +852 2918 4320
Similar Items