An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830)
Lot 32
An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830)
Sold for HK$ 375,000 (US$ 48,312) inc. premium

Lot Details
An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830) An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830) An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830) An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830) An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830) An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830)
An engraved and inscribed speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle
Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910 (the bottle: 1730-1830)
5.31cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 5, no. 1056

    粉玻璃攪色刻山水圖鼻煙壺
    壺:1730~1830
    刻文:周鴻來,1890~1910

    A carved speckled pink glass 'landscape' snuff bottle

    Speckled, dark pink glass sandwiched between an outer layer of semi- transparent white glass and an inner layer of translucent white glass; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; engraved on one main side with two scholars seated beneath a bare tree near a bamboo grove on a rocky bank, overlooking a distant body of water and mountains, and on the other with an inscription in clerical script, preceded by, 'An Inscription Composed by Shouyan sheng ('A Scholar who Keeps an Inkstone') of Daxing', and followed by 'Characters engraved by Zhou Honglai, [alias] Yanbin', both in regular script, with one seal of the artist in positive seal script, Zhou
    Bottle: 1730-1830
    Decoration: Zhou Honglai, 1890-1910
    Height: 5.31 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.65/1.1 cm
    Stopper: nephrite; mother-of-pearl collar

    Condition: small chip to the outer lip; one side of the footrim polished to remove a tiny chip; one polished-through air bubble on shoulder, part of original process; surface scratched through use

    Provenance:
    Robert Kleiner (1992)

    Published:
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 136
    Treasury 5, no. 1056

    Exhibited:
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March-June 1994
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994-February 1995

    Two of Zhou's bottles are inscribed in clerical script (the other is in the Humphrey Hui Collection: Sin, Hui, and Kwong 1996, no. 60). Both, coincidentally, are on much earlier, sandwiched pink glass bottles, and since the other one is the earliest known dated example by Zhou, from 1895, this may be similarly early, although we have left a broader range in case. As we noted earlier, his clerical script is no less commanding than his more customary draft script, and he was quite clearly a calligrapher with a broad range, since on a few examples he also copied ancient bronze script. It is a delightful bonus for us to find Zhou's works on lovely early bottles rather than distinctly pedestrian white glass shapes. We suspect that he probably chose this subtle pink and white glass by virtue of the splendid effect of misty landscape it lends to his composition. It cannot have been coincidence that similar landscape paintings appear on both examples, the drifting mist of the whiter tones adding immeasurably to the impact.

    Shouyan sheng was a name used by Wang Zuguang (1847 -- ?; 1871 jinshi), a native of Daxing (now part of Beijing) who published a number of works of poetry and seal inscriptions. In 1892, he composed the text for a stele in the Hangzhou Confucian temple commemorating a father and son who committed suicide after failing to prevent the Taipings from taking Hangzhou; he identifies himself as belonging to the Coastal Defense Circuit for Hangzhou, Jiaxing, and Huzhou (Du and Xu 2008, pp. 130 – 131). On 17 September 1896 (Guangxu 22/8/kueiyou), the Veritable Records of the dynasty record the fact that he made a presentation to the court and identify him with that same circuit. Thus, at least from 1892 through 1896, Wang was an official in the area where Zhou Honglai was working.

    Wang Zuguang's inscription on this bottle is about snuff. The first four lines are four characters each; the next three are six, and the last is seven. Read in Mandarin, the rhyme scheme could be ababxbbb if one allows 'nose' (in the second tone) to rhyme with all the other line endings in the fourth tone. The only poetic form in which we would expect such liberties would be the qu, or 'aria', which emerged in the Yuan dynasty (as the language we call Mandarin was coming into being) and continued to be written in the Ming and Qing dynasties. We shall not take the time on this occasion to verify that the inscription follows one of the metrical matrices for the qu (there are many).

    Through Zen at the fingertips,
    One gets the key to the organs.
    It has no affinity to smoke and fire;
    It is unlike the fumes of a censer.

    It stimulates the desire to roam and versify;
    It is as addictive as tea and wine.
    Alas, the murky affairs of the world;
    If you would maintain your purity, then cover your noses together.

    Wang finished a book called the Shanghan leijing, 'Classified canon of cold-related disorders', in 1894. If we ever run across a copy (it seems to exist only in manuscript and a handwritten copy thereof), we shall see what he has to say about snuff.

    粉玻璃攪色刻山水圖鼻煙壺

    夾層玻璃,內層為透亮白玻璃,中層為粉紅斑紋玻璃,外層為半透明白玻璃;平唇,平斂底,突出圈足,圈足底為一圓棱;一正面刻觀景閑談圖,另一正面刻題句,文前刻"大興守硯生題銘",文後刻"周鴻來雁賓刻字",以白文"周"篆印為結
    壺﹕1730-1830
    修飾,周鴻來,1890-1910
    高﹕ 5.31 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.65/1.1 厘米
    蓋: 閃玉;珍珠母座

    狀態敘述: 唇外沿有小缺口,圈足一邊拋光以消除 細小的缺口,肩部有磨切的氣泡,表面經過歲月的摩擦後呈擦痕

    來源﹕
    Robert Kleiner (1992)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號136
    Treasury 5, 編號1056

    展覽﹕
    香港藝術館,1994年3月~6月
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994-February 1995

    說明﹕
    周鴻來有兩件作品帶隸書題文,第二件在許建勳珍藏裏; 冼祖謙、許建勳、鄺溥銘 1996, 編號60,是1895的作品。兩個都是早期的粉紅夾層玻璃煙壺。

    守硯 生大概是王祖光 (1847 -- ?)。王祖光,大興人,1871進士。工書,善刻印。杭州孔廟《新葺忠孝泉井亭碑記》光緒18年3月3日(西曆1892)由分巡浙江杭嘉湖海防兵備道大興王祖光撰并書, 見杜正賢、徐彬 2008, 頁 130 – 131)。據《清實錄》光緒22年8月癸酉日,王祖光仍任浙江杭嘉湖海防兵備道。那麼,至少從1892年到1896 年,王祖光守硯生在周鴻來活躍的地區當官。

    本壺的題句寫的是鼻煙。下邊我們注明壓韻安排。這大概是用曲韻;肯定不是詞韻,何況詩韻。我們沒有試圖證實是不是填某一個曲牌的。

    參指頭禪 a
    通肺腑契 b
    無煙火緣 a
    較爐薰異 b
    助游情與吟情
    等茶癖共酒廦 b
    慨世味之濁溺 b
    自潔則將同掩鼻 b




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