A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850
Lot 164
A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850
Sold for HK$ 137,500 (US$ 17,739) inc. premium

Lot Details
A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850 A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850 A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850 A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850 A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850
A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain 'cricket' snuff bottle
Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang iron-red four-character seal mark and of the period, 1821-1850
Sold with accompanying watercolour by Peter Suart
5.8cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 6, no. 1318

    瓷胎畫粉彩蟈蟈鼻煙壺
    景德鎮宮窯,礬紅「道光年製」篆款,1821~1850

    A 'famille-rose' enamelled porcelain ' katydid' snuff bottle

    Famille-rose enamels on colourless glaze on porcelain; with a slightly convex lip and concave foot; painted each on main side with a katydid, one a bit smaller in scale and standing on its tipped-over carrying basket, which is decorated with a pattern of formalized swastikas and sauvastikas (wan symbols), a formalized leaf pattern around the mouth, and a formalized lotus-petal design around the base, the lid of the basket lying to the left; the foot of the bottle inscribed in iron-red seal script, Daoguang nian zhi ('Made during the Daoguang period'); the lip, inner neck, and interior glazed
    Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, 1821–1850
    Height: 5.8 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.7/1.78 cm
    Stopper: coral; turquoise collar

    Condition: some minor surface wear; otherwise, kiln condition

    Provenance:
    Gerry P. Mack
    Gerd Lester (1986)

    Published:
    JICSBS, Autumn 1989, p. 16
    Treasury 6, no. 1318

    Wang Shixiang 1993 identifies six different insects bred for their winter chirping. They are guoguo (katydid); zhazui (a smaller katydid); youhulu (a large cricket); ququ (cricket); bang'ertou and jinzhong (two further varieties of the Grilidae family). These insects, either captured or bred, were kept in small cages so that their merry chirping might be enjoyed. Wang tells us that there are different shaped gourd cages for the different varieties of chirping insect, although he does not illustrate one of this unusually bulbous form, which, in any case, does not resemble a standard cricket cage so much as a small carrying basket. Although frequently referred to as 'cricket bottles', the popular range of nineteenth-century porcelain snuff bottles represented here are usually decorated with katydids, either the guoguo or the zhazui, and not crickets. Katydids are predominantly green in colour, although often with brown legs and a partially brown back and head, and are fatter in the lower body than crickets. They were kept mainly for their sound rather than as fighting insects. A large katydid, with a fat body that can be four or five centimetres long and often possessing brilliant colouring, is a truly impressive insect, even more impressive than their depictions on the bottles, which are quite accurate.

    The design was a favourite well into the nineteenth century, but reached its greatest popularity as an imperial subject during the Daoguang period, when sets of porcelain bottles were produced with various katydid designs in relatively large quantities. There are many examples known, including an enormous group in the Barron Collection, and they continued to be produced into the Guangxu period. The popularity of the design must have been a by-product of the rising star of the insects themselves, as evidenced by the mid-Qing period proliferation of mass-produced gourd carriers for them. Prior to the Jiaqing reign, moulded-gourd cricket carriers were a relatively small proportion of the overall output of decorative gourds, but by the Daoguang reign they were vastly in the majority and being produced in apparently very large numbers. Whether this reflects an increased interest in the cheerful chirping of these small creatures, or merely a shift in the fashion for caging them is not so certain.

    There are two main types of design for this range of katydid bottles. The first is a simple, profile view of the insect, and the second is an insect in combination with its carrier, usually a gourd. This bottle combines the two. Before gourd carriers became so popular in the mid-Qing period, the insects were kept in what looked like miniature bird cages, and these are sometimes pictured in place of a gourd carrier. Although a first impression suggests a gourd is depicted here, such vessels are never decorated on the inside, whereas the exterior design here is echoed within, suggesting a woven design, however complex and unlikely.

    瓷胎畫粉彩蟈蟈鼻煙壺

    瓷胎無色釉上粉彩琺瑯; 微凸唇,凹底;各正面繪蟋蟀與蟋蟀籠子;底書礬紅 "道光年製";唇、內頸、內壁皆施釉
    景德鎮官窯,1821–1850
    高﹕ 5.8 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.7/1.78 厘米
    蓋: 珊瑚; 綠松石座

    狀態敘述:表面呈微乎其微的損耗;此外,出窯狀態

    來源﹕
    Gerry P. Mack
    Gerd Lester (1986)

    文獻﹕
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, 1989年秋期,頁 16
    Treasury 6, 編號1318

    說明﹕
    王世襄 1993 列出了六種鳴蟲﹕蟈蟈、扎嘴、油壺魯、蛐蛐、梆兒頭、金鍾。蟈蟈葫蘆、油壺魯葫蘆等都具各自的特證。蟋蟀科的昆蟲種類多,蟋蟀與螽斯常常混同,而鼻煙壺上畫的蟲子不一定是繪得正確的。 蟈蟈這個題材最流盛是在道光御 製鼻煙壺上,一直到光緒朝很受歡迎。本壺的圖案畫的似乎是葫蘆,但其表面的圖案也出現在裏頭,更像籠子。
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