A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770
Lot 29Y
A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770
Sold for HK$ 150,000 (US$ 19,344) inc. premium
Auction Details
A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770 A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770 A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770 A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770 A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770
Lot Details
A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle
Possibly Imperial, 1700-1770
4.22cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 3, no. 434

    珊瑚雕人物山水鼻煙壺
    或御製品,1700~1770

    A carved coral 'landscape' snuff bottle

    Coral; well hollowed but leaving a deep inner foot area, with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; carved with oval panels on each main side, one with two scholars standing chatting beneath a pine tree in a mountainous landscape, the other with an open pavilion rising from waves offshore from a rocky bank on which a mature pine tree grows, the panels enclosed in formalized clouds from which parts of a four-clawed dragon can be seen
    Possibly imperial, 1700–1770
    Height: 4.22 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.68 and 0.55 (oval)/.95 and 0.8 (oval)
    Stopper: gilt-enamel on porcelain, moulded with a formalized floral design, with integral finial and collar; John Charlton, London, circa 1971

    Condition: Miniscule chips to mouth and foot; restored section of approx 1cm to body.

    Provenance:
    Alice B. McReynolds
    Sotheby's, Los Angeles, 31 October 1984, lot 128

    Published:
    JICSBS, September 1975, p. 17
    Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty, pp. 88 and 136, no. 125
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 279
    Kleiner 1995, no. 307
    Treasury 3, no. 434

    Exhibited:
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, October–December 1978
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995
    British Museum, London, June–October 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

    This snuff bottle probably dates from the Yongzheng or early Qianlong period, although we have left a broader dating range to allow for it being earlier, which is by no means out of the question. It is of lovely colour and delightful workmanship and must rank as one of the great coral snuff bottles, and certainly as one of the rarest. Although it would accord, materially, formally, and stylistically with what we know to have been court taste of the eighteenth century, the dragon in the clouds has only four claws. Four-clawed dragons are unequivocally not for the emperor, but that does not preclude imperial manufacture. Vast numbers of bottles were made by the court to be distributed as gifts, and since most of those granted the use of the dragon in its four-clawed variety, there is no reason why imperial workshops should not have made bottles as gifts to courtiers.

    Another imperial link is the form, which may be taken from the field of ceramics. It is of somewhat similar appearance to the exquisite and also very small imperial enamelled glass bottle in the J & J Collection (Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, no. 186), which can be dated to the first two decades of the Qianlong period and is definitely from the palace workshops. Both are decorated with panels of figure subjects, and are of this general shape, although the enamelled bottle has a flared neck and slightly higher shoulders.

    The last factor in favour of an imperial attribution, and possibly one to the palace workshops, is the exaggerated depth of foot left in the hollowing, which is otherwise unusually extensive for a coral bottle. This is what we would expect in a bottle designed for display (as a sign of imperial favour), for the heavier foot provides some measure of stability. These small bottles do not fit so comfortably in the hand; they are too small and delicate. They may fit between the fingers, but in the palm of the hand, where a normal-sized bottle is comfortable and, in most cases, sensuously tactile, they are usually too delicate and fragile to feel comfortable.

    珊瑚雕人物山水鼻煙壺

    珊瑚; 掏膛完整而底部厚,平唇,平斂底,突出圈足,圈足底為一圓棱;兩正雕橢圓形開光,其中雕人物山水圖和水亭古松圖,開光外雕捲雲紋、一四爪行龍
    或許為御用作坊作, 1700–1770
    高﹕ 4.22 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.68 及 0.55 (橢圓形)/.95 及 0.8 (橢圓形)
    蓋:瓷胎鎏金琺瑯彩,模作形式化的花紋 , 與頂飾、座為一體; John Charlton, 倫敦作,約1971年

    狀態敘述: 在唇及足處有微乎其微的缺口,壺身有大約1厘米的修補。

    來源﹕
    Alice B. McReynolds
    洛杉機蘇富比,1984年10月31日,拍賣品號 128

    文獻﹕
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, 1975年9月號,頁 17
    Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty, 頁 88 及 136, 編號125
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號279
    Kleiner 1995, 編號307
    Treasury 3, 編號434

    展覽﹕
    香港藝術館,1978年10月~12月
    香港藝術館,1994年3月~6月
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995
    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﹕
    這件鼻煙壺大概作於雍正朝或乾隆早期,而更早也沒甚麼不可能。顏色美好,雕術精工,是珊瑚煙壺的傑作之一。

    就珊瑚煙壺來說,本壺掏膛格外徹底,但底部非常厚。這可能是因為頒賜品是要陳列給人看的,底厚就穩實,陳列壽命長。這小規模的煙壺掌在手裏有點不對勁兒,太小,太脆。
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