A turquoise matrix 'pea-pod' snuff bottle Imperial, 1740–1810
Lot 79
A turquoise matrix 'pea-pod' snuff bottle Imperial, 1740–1810
Sold for HK$ 168,000 (US$ 21,659) inc. premium

Lot Details
A turquoise matrix 'pea-pod' snuff bottle Imperial, 1740–1810 A turquoise matrix 'pea-pod' snuff bottle Imperial, 1740–1810 A turquoise matrix 'pea-pod' snuff bottle Imperial, 1740–1810
A turquoise matrix 'pea-pod' snuff bottle
Imperial, 1740–1810
6.2cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 3, no. 425

    綠松巖石雕豆形鼻煙壺
    御製品,1740~1810

    A turquoise matrix 'pea-pod' snuff bottle

    ('The Imperial Turquoise Pea-pod')

    Turquoise matrix; reasonably well hollowed and carved in the form of two pea- or bean-pods growing from a severed branch with leaves and tendrils
    Imperial, 1740–1810
    Height: 6.2 cm
    Mouth: 0.61 cm
    Stopper: coral, carved as a twig

    Condition: Some recutting around the lip, perhaps to deal with a chip out of the end of the severed branch. General relative condition: good

    Provenance:
    F. W. A. Knight
    Sotheby's, London, 9 June 1981, lot 80
    Paula J. Hallett
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1986)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 178
    Arts of Asia, September–October 1990, p. 90
    Kleiner 1994a, p. 48
    Treasury 3, no. 425

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

    Commentary
    The subject of this bottle has been previously given as a melon, but the author who wrote that lives in town. The shape is that of a pair of bean pods. A bamboo bean-pod snuff bottle in the National Palace Museum is dated by the museum to the 1780 – 1911 range. A white nephrite paperweight carved as a pair of bean pods in the same museum exhibits the serration along the lip between the two halves of the pods that we see on this snuff bottle. The leaves are also of the same type.

    There is a group of turquoise fruit- or vegetable-form snuff bottles in this distinctive type of turquoise that is relatively free of matrix veining and is distinctively pale and half-way between the green and blue materials in colour; the group must all be from the same workshop. The lack of prominent veining is one possible indication that they are an early group, probably from the Qianlong period at the latest; the lack of wear and patination on many of them may indicates that most may have remained unused in the imperial collection until the latter part of the nineteenth century. Given the well-established court taste for these naturalistic snuff-bottle shapes, it is likely that these represent a particular imperial group, perhaps from the mid-Qing period. Another, which is of a group of melons complete with their typical leaves, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (White 1990, Pl. 51, no. 1). There are at least three in the imperial collection, Chang Lin-sheng 1991, where no. 403 is a pomegranate, no. 404 a bunch of grapes, and no. 402 a related pebble-shaped bottle with Buddhist lions in relief. There is a related lapis lazuli snuff bottle, also in the imperial collection (Gugong bowuyuan 1995, no. 149) that is also of fruit-form (described as a musk-melon). All of these have original stoppers in the same material which, where appropriate, are incorporated in the design of the bottle, suggesting both a workshop style and the possibility that this example is missing its original stopper. It also strengthens the imperial link, since when one finds a variety of different materials carved into similar objects, or in the same style, it is a clue that we are dealing with imperial workshops rather than a small, private concern. The lapis and turquoise examples are linked to the wide group of jade fruit-form bottles (Treasury 1, nos. 62–72) by one from the Count Blucher Collection (Moss 1971a, no. 39). Of white nephrite, it is of melon- or gourd-shape and stylistically similar to this, with leaves growing from a severed branch wrapped around the fruit. It also has an original stopper, in matching material, carved as the branch from which the fruit grows.

    綠松巖石雕豆形鼻煙壺

    綠松石巖;掏膛適當地徹底
    御製品,1740–1810
    高:6.2 厘米
    口經: 0.61 厘米
    蓋: 珊瑚

    狀態敘述:唇沿有所重新琢磨,或許是為了處理斷枝一端的缺口。一般相對的狀態: 良好

    來源:
    F. W. A. Knight
    Sotheby's, London, 9 June 1981, 拍賣品號 80
    Paula J. Hallett
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1986)

    文獻:
    Kleiner 1987, 編號 178
    Arts of Asia, September–October 1990, p. 90
    Kleiner 1994a, p. 48
    Treasury 3, 編號 425

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

    說明
    台北故宮博物館收藏的一件雕竹豆莢式鼻煙壺被推定為1780 – 1911年間雕的。同館藏有一件白玉豆莢紙鎮,葉子的形式跟本壺的一樣,工匠也琢製出了豆莢皮的皺褶。

    本壺大概屬於一群果實形和蔬菜形的綠松石鼻煙壺,那種綠松石的斑紋比較少,顏色都很相似,一定是出於同一個作坊,而最晚是乾隆時期作的。其他果實形和蔬菜形的煙壺,請參閱本壺的英文說明。
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