An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850
Lot 23
An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850
Sold for HK$ 118,750 (US$ 15,322) inc. premium
Auction Details
An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850 An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850 An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850 An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850 An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850 An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850 An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850
Lot Details
An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle
Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800-1850
7.28cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 7, no. 1534

    棕漆刻駿馬圖鼻煙壺
    盧棟,揚州,1800~1850

    An inscribed and carved olive-green lacquer 'horse' snuff bottle

    Dark, olive-green lacquer on light-weight wood or textile; with a flat lip and protruding flat foot; engraved on one main side with a scene of a horse seen from the rear as it turns its head to one side to present a profile, set on a grassy bank with a rocky outcrop in the foreground and foliated shrubs and further adumbrated foliage beyond, with one seal of the artist in seal script, Kuisheng; the other main side engraved in regular script with a couplet followed by the name Xinluo shanren and one seal, in seal script, Yan, the interior roughly lacquered
    Lu Dong, Yangzhou, 1800–1850
    Height: 7.28 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.69/1.95 cm
    Stopper: glass; vinyl collar

    Condition: miniscule nibbles to inner lip; two repairs to damage on the outer lip; possible repairs to outer footrim, all sensitively done; natural wear from use; relative overall condition, excellent

    Provenance:
    Trojan Collection (1993)
    Robert Hall (1993)

    Published:
    Hall 1992, no. 69
    Kleiner 1995, no. 326
    Treasury 7, no. 1534

    Exhibited:
    British Museum, London, June–October 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

    Lu Dong (zi: Kuisheng, d. 1850) is one of the few lacquer makers in Chinese history to be identified not only through his signed works but by other documentation as well. We know that he worked in Yangzhou during the Daoguang period and that he was one of those craftsmen who were able to transcend the social barriers and be taken seriously by the literati who were his main clients, not only as a lacquer maker, but also as a painter. He was one of the rare craftsmen who found a place in the literature of the scholar class (see Tsang and Moss 1986, nos. 63, 64, 85 [a snuff bottle], 149, 216, and 217). The most informative source on him is an article by Wang Shixiang and his wife Yuan Quanyou (1920–2003) in Wenwu (1957, no. 7), where some surviving paperwork included with one of his works contains not only a warning against copies but also his precise address in Yangzhou (the south side of Dashi Alley, Genzi Street, Changuan Gate).

    Lu Dong is known for his many literati wares such as inkstones, together with their boxes and covers, stationery boxes, wrist rests, and snuff bottles. He became associated with the sand-lacquer inkstones invented by his grandfather and was also a skilled embellisher, using lacquer and a variety of other materials as inlays (see, for instance, an inkstone box and cover, Tsang and Moss 1986, no. 149). He occasionally produced lacquerware in other, more traditional styles. Many of his monochrome wares, including most of his snuff bottles, are very light in weight and may have been built up on a base of light-weight wood or possibly even textile. He also occasionally lacquered on pewter, making teapots and at least one snuff bottle (see Sale 2, lot 27). There is even one rare example where he has lacquered and engraved the exterior of an Yixing seal-ink box and cover (Tsang and Moss 1986, no. 217).

    Conventional wisdom has it that wares bearing the Kuisheng name, in any of its various forms, were made by him personally, while those with the name Lu Dong were workshop products involving others. In most cases, however, there is no discernible difference in either quality or style between the two groups of wares, and the distinction may be no more than an opinion someone once noted in the past that has been adopted by subsequent writers as fact. In a field where so little information exists about the makers of works of art, there is a tendency to cling somewhat overenthusiastically to the few snippets that are passed down to us, regardless of their origin or weight. This conventional wisdom seems contradicted by the inkstone box and cover in Tsang and Moss 1986, (no. 149) where the edge of the inkstone is signed 'Supervised by Kuisheng'.

    The picture on one main side simulates a painting by Hua Yan (hao: Xinluo shanren, 1682–1756) right down to the artist's signature, Xinluo shanren, and seal, Yan. Lu Dong was inspired by this famous Yangzhou artist on more than one occasion.

    For a remarkably similar bottle from the Ko Collection, but decorated with swallows and branches, see Christie's, London, 14 June 1971, lot 171. Others are in Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, no. 307, and for another, from the Ko Collection, see Christie's, London, 8 November 1976, lot 185 (with blossoming prunus branches and a poem on a dark-brown lacquer).

    The couplet reads:

    With stalwart heart, it takes a thousand li in stride;
    It was once within the Twelve Heavenly Stables.

    Heavenly Stables are the stables of the emperor. The ambitious horse has often been used as a metaphor for a learned scholar who wished to contribute his knowledge towards the wellbeing of his country.

    棕漆刻駿馬圖鼻煙壺

    木或織物胎棕紅色漆;平唇 ,突出平底,一正面刻天馬回道看觀者,鈐"葵生"篆印,反面刻 "壯心自可行千里,曾在天閑十二中",後加 "新羅山人"及一 "喦" 篆印;壺內壁漆塗得比較粗糙
    盧棟,揚州,1800–1850
    高﹕ 7.28 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.69/1.95 厘米
    蓋: 玻璃;乙烯基座

    狀態敘述:唇內有微乎其微的氣泡,唇外沿有兩處修補過,圈足外沿可能有修補的地方,都是用心著意地修補的, 經過歲月的觸摸以後,呈尋常的擦傷;一般的全體狀態﹕極善

    來源﹕
    特落伊珍藏 (1993)
    羅伯特.霍爾 (1993)

    文獻﹕
    Hall 1992, 編號69
    Kleiner 1995, 編號326
    Treasury 7, 編號1534

    展覽﹕
    大英博物館,1995年6月~10月
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7月~月11月

    說明﹕
    關於盧棟,最詳細的介紹是王世襄、袁荃猷 (1920–2003),"揚州名漆工盧葵生和他的一些作品", 《文物》1957年7期。 也可參閱 Tsang and Moss 1986, 編號63, 64, 85 (煙壺), 149, 216, and 217及第二場拍賣會,拍賣品號 27).

    本壺天馬圖是仿照華喦 (號新春羅山人, 1682–1756) 。華喦,福建上杭人,上杭古稱新羅。他從四十二歲到七十一歲常常去揚州,盧棟不啻 一次受到他的啟發。

    克立德珍藏形式極相似的一件煙壺有倫敦佳士得,1971年6月14日, 拍賣品號 171。還有如 Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, 編號307及倫敦佳士得,1976年11月8日, 拍賣品號 185 等。


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