A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, 1736-1780
Lot 121
A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, 1736-1780
Sold for HK$ 187,500 (US$ 24,156) inc. premium

Lot Details
A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, 1736-1780 A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, 1736-1780 A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, 1736-1780 A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, 1736-1780 A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, 1736-1780
A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle
Probably Imperial, 1736-1780
8.95cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 5, no. 878

    雪花地套紅玻璃壽祿紋鼻煙壺
    擬御製品,1736~1780

    A ruby-red glass overlay 'deer' snuff bottle

    Transparent, ruby-red, and milky glass, suffused with air bubbles of various sizes, including one large one and some elongated; with a flat lip and very slightly recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim made up of elements of the design; carved as a single overlay on one main side with two deer, one standing on a rocky outcrop, beneath a peach tree with three large fruit, and on the other main side with a man seated playing the flute on a rocky outcrop set amidst formalized waves, with a pine tree growing from another outcrop, the sun above, the neck with a band of formalized hair growing from the chi dragon heads, which act as handles on the narrow sides, their front legs doubling as the frames for formalized lingzhi-heads on each main side, with multiple linked rings joining the handles to the footrim, which is in the form of an oval bi disc
    Probably imperial, 1736-1780
    Height: 8.95 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.78/1.62 cm
    Stopper: jadeite; nephrite collar

    Condition: fairly large, deep chip out of upper neck-rim and eating into lip (0.82 cm at greatest extent); bubble cut through as part of the original process; small chip to upper deer's right ear; two small chips to lower stag's antler

    Provenance:
    Adolph Silver
    Mrs A. N. Silver
    Sotheby's, London, 6 March 1979, lot 74

    Published:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 113
    Treasury 5, no. 878

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

    From the conceptual perspective, this is one of the most extraordinary glass overlays in the collection. The decoration on each main side is unusual and spectacular and, of course, replete with symbolism. Both deer and peach signify longevity, while a pair of deer stands for a married couple and the pine tree is a symbol of longevity. The rock, in this case, stands for mountain (shan) and the waves represent the sea (hai); together they express the popular aspirations for the immortality of the Southern Mountains, and happiness as vast as the Eastern Sea. A man playing a flute (dizi) stands for the blessing of male children (dezi), reminding us how little in Chinese art is devoid of symbolic meaning, however well hidden it may be. Even the multiple interlocking rings hanging from the handles represent continuity.

    Superb as the main-side decoration may be, it is the extraordinarily imaginative narrow-side, neck, and foot decoration that elevate this bottle to the level at which a chip in the neck rim becomes almost irrelevant. In place of the usual taotie handles, the designer has chosen chi dragon heads, the hair from the back of their heads curving up to fill the neck, and their front legs defining the two lingzhi-head motifs at the apex of the main-side panels. The neck and shoulder decoration alone qualify it not only as unique but also as one of the most imaginative in the art-form, even without the addition of a string of linked rings running all the way down the narrow sides to join onto a foot carved as an oval bi disc.

    The linked rings supply the most convincing justification for proposing imperial manufacture. We discussed this feature under Treasury 5, no. 784, suggesting that such an evolution of the standard, small, circular ring was probably a feature of the Qianlong period and the court, where such multiple rings were commonly used on imperial jade carvings. The rings are very slightly oval, perhaps hinting at a mid-Qianlong date, which would also allow for the unusually large size. Another courtly feature is represented by the delightful way in which the familiar overlay footrim is transformed into a bi disc. The Qianlong emperor was a voracious collector of ancient jades, including large numbers of the various discs often identified using the term bi, although other terms are more exact, depending upon the relative size of the central hole (see Treasury 1, no. 79). They appear frequently in Qianlong palace arts, illustrating the emperor's attempts to incorporate ancient culture into Manchu arts with the aim of underlining their mandate to rule. Another clue may exist in the substitution of chi-dragon heads for the usual taotie-head handles, since the chi was one of the most popular decorative motifs on eighteenth century imperial carvings. Additional evidence is supplied by the upper neck-rim which, although it might equally be explained here as a necessity to frame the flowing hair-lines of the two dragons, is a feature typical of palace hardstone snuff bottles.

    雪花地套紅玻璃壽祿紋鼻煙壺

    雪花地套透明寶石紅玻璃, 地彌漫著大小的氣泡,,抱括一個大的和幾個拉長的;平唇,微凸斂底,突出圈足,足底完全接觸地面;一正面雕桃樹,樹下有一對鹿;另一正面雕松下吹笛圖, 側面頸下雕獸首啣環耳,環耳下垂聯環紋
    擬為御製品,1736-1780
    高﹕ 8.95 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.78/1.62 厘米
    蓋: 翡翠;閃玉座

    狀態敘述:頸上緣有大而深的缺口,侵入唇最長度是0.82 厘米 ;有切割的氣泡,雌鹿右邊的耳朵呈小缺口,牡鹿角呈兩道小缺口

    來源﹕
    Adolph Silver
    Mrs A. N. Silver
    倫敦蘇富比,1979年3月6日,拍賣品號74

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner 1987, 編號113
    Treasury 5, 編號878

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

    說明﹕
    本壺是伯樂珍藏中的奇珍異寶之一,只看頸、肩部的圖案,其設計是獨一無二的。

    側面的聯環以資證明本壺是御製品。因為環是稍微橢圓形的而壺本身是比較大的,可能乾隆中葉作的。
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