An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825
Lot 60
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825
Sold for HK$ 93,750 (US$ 12,089) inc. premium
Auction Details
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825 An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825 An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825 An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825 An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825
Lot Details
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle
Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810-1825
5.6cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 4, no. 454

    水晶內畫人物山水鼻煙壺
    甘恆文,嶺南派,1810~1825

    An inside-painted rock-crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle

    Crystal, ink, and watercolours; with a flat lip and flat foot, the bulging main sides framed with twinned incised lines; painted on one main side with a meandering river valley surrounded by peaks, with a man in the foreground returning home to his country retreat clad in a straw raincoat and hat, his fishing-rod over his shoulder, the upper left-hand corner inscribed with the signature, Gan Xuan, and one token seal of the artist, the other main side with a poetic inscription in clerical script followed by the signature, Gugang qiao ('The Woodcutter of Gugang'), with three token seals of the artist
    Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan, 1810–1825
    Height: 5.6 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.58/1.75 cm
    Stopper: carnelian; vinyl collar

    Condition: Bottle: insignificant, miniscule chip to outer lip; otherwise, workshop condition. Painting: minor snuff staining; otherwise, in studio condition

    Provenance:
    Hugh Moss (circa 1964)
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1984)
    Private English collection
    Sotheby's, London, 13 October 1981, lot 153
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd.
    Eric Young
    Sotheby's, London, 3 March 1987, lot 137

    Published:
    Chinese Snuff Bottles No.1, p. 30, fig. 2
    JICSBS, December 1974, p. 16, figs. 15 and 16
    Kleiner 1987, no. 250
    JICSBS, Spring 1991, p. 19, figs. 42 and 43
    Treasury 4, no. 454

    Exhibited:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, 1993
    Christie's, London, 1999

    Gan Xuanwen used the literary name Fisherman of Gugang, which appears on one of his bottles in Hugh Moss Records, but on this example he signs Woodcutter of Gugang, using another symbol of the ideal country life and the wise observer of the rise and fall of dynasties who refuses to sully himself with human affairs. Gugang means 'Ancient Gangzhou', and Gangzhou, the modern Xinhui district of Jiangmen (a bit to the west of a line drawn between Macao and Guangzhou), was the last holdout of the Southern Song court against the Mongols in 1279. It was also the native place of Gan Xuanwen, so whether his signature is intended to identify him as a fisherman/woodcutter who remembers the fall of the Song as one example of the endless vanities of man or simply as a native of Xinhui is open to speculation.

    The dense, overlapping horizontal strokes that build up the impression of heavily foliated peaks are an obvious reference to the painting style associated with Mi Youren (1086–1165), who developed and established a style of painting mountains made up of a series of horizontal, wet ink-markings built up on each other. This would have been one of the most readily recognized styles to Gan's fellow literati, any of whom could probably have recognized even more subtle stylistic references to dozens of other artists.

    The poetic inscription reads:

    This transparent vessel was carved out,
    And within it is kept an entire universe.
    If one finds oneself desperately fond of it,
    It matters not whether the market price is high or low.

    It sounds as if it was written by Gan or his friends specifically for a snuff bottle and endorses our belief that he and his circle of friends were well aware of the delights of snuff, and that Gan himself was somewhat of a connoisseur.

    水晶內畫人物山水鼻煙壺

    水晶、墨、水彩; 平唇,平底,一正面內畫山雨歸漁圖,上落"甘烜"一款,另一正面內書絕句一首,後寫"古岡樵",以三個象徵性的印結尾。甘烜文,嶺南,1810–1825
    高﹕ 5.6 厘米
    口經/唇經: 0.58/1.75 厘米
    蓋: 紅白玉髓;乙烯基座

    狀態敘述﹕壺,唇外沿有微不足道的缺口; 此外,出坊狀態。內畫﹕有一點點鼻煙染,此外, 出齋狀態

    來源﹕
    Hugh Moss (約 1964)
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1984)
    英國藏家
    倫敦蘇富比, 1981年10月13日,拍賣品號 153
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd.
    Eric Young
    倫敦蘇富比, 1987年3月3日, 拍賣品號 137

    文獻﹕
    Chinese Snuff Bottles No.1, 頁 30, 圖2
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, 1974年12月號,頁 16, 圖15 及 16
    Kleiner 1987, 編號250
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, 1991年春期,頁 19, 圖42 及 43
    Treasury 4, 編號454

    展覽﹕
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, 1993
    Christie's, London, 1999

    說明﹕
    古岡是古岡州的意思,岡州(今廣東省江門新會區)是南宋最後的皇帝趙昺背城借一的地方。甘烜文是古岡人,他用古岡樵(據莫士撝未付梓知見錄亦有古岡漁的一件甘烜文煙壺)這個別號也許沒有別的意思,不過,漁夫跟樵人在中國文藝傳統中是典型的陰者,是最看透人世興亡得失的空虛,再說,元軍南下滅宋和清軍南下滅明總是可相比擬,不知道甘氏的別號會不會有含糊不清的別意?.
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