A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle 1760-1820
Lot 24
A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle 1760-1820
Sold for HK$ 300,000 (US$ 38,708) inc. premium
Auction Details
A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle 1760-1820 A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle 1760-1820 A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle 1760-1820 A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle 1760-1820 A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle 1760-1820
Lot Details
A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle
1760-1820
Sold with accompanying watercolour by Peter Suart
5.98cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 5, no. 986

    透明套五色玻璃壽字紋鼻煙壺

    A five-colour glass overlay 'shou character' snuff bottle

    Transparent ruby-red, pale golden-yellow and sapphire-blue, semi- transparent pink, and translucent, streaky bluish green glass, with a few scattered air bubbles of various sizes; with a flat lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding flattened footrim; carved as a single overlay with a similar design on each side of a bat flying across a severed, exaggerated branch growing with three lingzhi-heads towards a circular medallion made up of a formalized shou ('longevity') character
    1760-1820
    Height: 5.98 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.72/1.4 cm
    Stopper: tourmaline; vinyl collar
    Illustration: watercolour by Peter Suart

    Condition: Miniscule chip to foot, otherwise studio condition

    Provenance:
    H. Johnson
    Sotheby's, London, 11 March 1975, lot 77
    Drouot, Paris (Millon-Jutheau) 6 November 1983, lot 51
    Belfort Collection (1986)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 100
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd, London, exhibition poster, October 1987
    Galeries Lafayette 1990, p. 12, no. 3
    Treasury 5, no. 986

    Exhibited:
    Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto, October 1983
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Galeries Lafayette, Paris, April 1990
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May-June 1993

    This bottle displays not only an extremely rare colour combination, but also an extraordinary composition and impeccable carving. The distinguishing feature of the composition is the remarkably subtle lack of symmetry applied to the presentation of a reasonably symmetrical idea. The sides are laid out in similar fashion, with the bat and the branch of lingzhi in corresponding positions, but the artist has offset the circular shou medallion in each case, placing it lower and to one side, clearly to balance the other design elements. Given the long-standing imperial tradition of circular panels visually echoing the circular form of the bottle (or oval panels matching ovoid forms), such a radical departure from the norm is daring indeed. These two shou characters are laid out as circular panels, even though it would have been simple enough to start with them in the middle of the bottle and adjust the bat and lingzhi correspondingly. The option chosen is completely unexpected, and particularly so if it has anything to do with the court. Another extremely unusual feature is that each of the shou medallions is slightly angled in such a way that the horizontal lines are not parallel with the ground plane. The natural assumption might be an error on the part of the artist, but in the case of a work such as this, which exhibits a surpassing quality of carving as well as extraordinary control - the ground plane being as close to perfect as one could reasonably expect - we are tempted to look elsewhere for an answer and, indeed, we find one. Each medallion is angled in a different direction, ideally balanced by the slightly different orientation of the bat and lingzhi elements of the design.

    Apart from these unusual design features, the colours of the glass deserve our attention, for we have here another example of distinctive, translucent, turquoise-green glass with streaks of brown. So difficult to discern are the streaks, however, that they are unlikely to be an intentional decorative effect. They probably resulted from use of a batch of glass in which, during mixing, the intended colour had somehow been contaminated with another.

    透明套五色玻璃壽字紋鼻煙壺

    透明無色地套透明寶石紅料,淡黃料、藍寶藍料、半透明粉紅、及透亮艾綠料,涵零星的大小氣泡;平唇,凸斂底,突出弄平的圈足;二正面刻團壽字蝙蝠靈芝流雲圖
    1760-1820
    高﹕ 5.98 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.72/1.4 厘米
    蓋: 碧璽;乙烯基座
    帶有彼德小話 (Peter Suart) 水彩畫

    狀態敘述: 在足處有微乎其微的缺口,除此之外,出齋狀態。

    來源﹕
    H. Johnson
    倫敦蘇富比, 1975年3月11日,拍賣品號77
    Drouot, Paris (Millon-Jutheau) 6 November 1983, 拍賣品號51
    Belfort 珍藏 (1986)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner 1987, 編號100
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd, London, exhibition poster, October 1987
    Galeries Lafayette 1990, 頁 12, 編號3
    Treasury 5, 編號986

    展覽﹕
    Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto, October 1983
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Galeries Lafayette, Paris, April 1990
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May-June 1993

    說明﹕
    本壺的配色是極其罕見的。更有意思的是,一般以團壽字為中心的圖案是對稱的,可是本壺的蝙蝠、靈芝、流雲是非對稱的圖案。 不但如此,團壽字精巧地脫離中心,稍微歪斜,是微妙的調整。
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