A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle 1760–1860
Lot 6Y
A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle 1760–1860
Sold for HK$ 325,000 (US$ 41,920) inc. premium
Auction Details
A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle 1760–1860 A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle 1760–1860 A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle 1760–1860 A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle 1760–1860 A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle 1760–1860
Lot Details
A carved coral 'magpies' snuff bottle
1760–1860
5.9cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 3, no. 428

    珊瑚雕喜鵲報春鼻煙壺

    A carved coral 'magpie' snuff bottle

    Coral; well hollowed, with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding broad, flat footrim; carved with a continuous scene of two pairs of magpies in a garden setting with a flowering prunus trees, orchids, chrysanthemums and bamboo
    1760–1860
    Height: 5.9 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.3/1 cm
    Stopper: glass

    Condition: minute, insignificant nibble inside lip; natural pitted flaw on base

    Provenance:
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (circa 1972)
    Dinah O'Brien
    Robert Hall (1994)

    Published:
    JICSBS, March 1981, front cover
    Treasury 3, no. 428

    There is a fairly large group of coral bottles that seem to be interrelated in some way and form a majority of the obviously early, functional coral bottles. The early group is characterized by a middle range of colour, from pale salmon to a more vibrant, vermilion-salmon colour, but tends not to include anything deeper in colour than, say, Treasury 3, no. 431. They are all well carved, with particularly good detailing of the foot, mostly with symbolic and auspicious subjects, reasonably well hollowed for a material that, because of its fragility, is seldom very well hollowed (although see two exceptions, Treasury 3, no. 434, and Sale 3, lot 64), and appear to have been made during the mid-Qing period, although there are few clues to more precise dating; inscriptions, dates, or signatures are very rare. A number of them are of the rounded rectangular form of no. 431 and so many other mid-Qing bottles, but other shapes are almost as common. Since we know that precious materials that were highly valued by the Chinese would have figured prominently among imperial bottles, it is sensible to consider the possibility that this group is imperial.

    Here the only possible support for such a possibility, an extremely tenuous one at that, is the vase form. The court was known to favour shapes drawn from other media, particularly ceramics and bronzes, and many imperial bottles are of this range of shapes.
    Emerald-green jadeite is always an elegant addition to coral, to such an extent that if a coral bottle lacks a coral stopper of some kind, the chances are it will be matched up with green jadeite. This rather strangely shaped stopper, with its unusual bulge beyond the profile of the collar to provide an excellent grip, has found its ideal place here. So irregular a form would not sit well on the average short, cylindrical neck, which requires more formality, but a long, tapering neck like this can manage the eccentric flourish of an irregularly shaped stopper.

    珊瑚雕喜鵲報春鼻煙壺

    珊瑚; 掏膛完整,平唇, 平斂底, 突出圈足,足底全面接地;雕通體園子裏的兩隻喜鵲
    1760–1860
    高﹕ 5.9 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.3/1 厘米
    蓋﹕玻璃

    狀態敘述:唇內沿有微乎其微的咬痕;底有天然凹入的瑕疵

    來源﹕
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (circa 1972)
    Dinah O'Brien
    羅伯特.霍爾 (1994)

    文獻﹕
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, 1981年3 月,封面
    Treasury 3, 編號428

    說明﹕
    珍貴質料作的鼻煙壺按理應該多歸宮廷,這類珊瑚煙壺也是其種之一的。而且,瓶形煙壺也是宮廷喜愛的,所以本壺有可能是御用作坊的製品。
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    Bonhams
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  2. Meilin Wang
    Specialist - Chinese Paintings
    Bonhams
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