A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle 1760-1860
Lot 75
A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle 1760-1860
Sold for HK$ 175,000 (US$ 22,572) inc. premium
Auction Details
A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle 1760-1860 A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle 1760-1860 A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle 1760-1860 A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle 1760-1860 A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle 1760-1860
Lot Details
A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle
1760-1860
5.64cm (including original stopper).

Footnotes

  • Treasury 7, no. 1520

    桃核雕八仙壽老鼻煙壺

    A carved peach stone 'Eight Immortals and God of Longevity ' snuff bottle

    Peach stone; well hollowed, with a concave lip and a protruding concave foot with natural serrations around the rim; carved with a continuous rocky landscape design with floating formalized clouds, pine, and other trees and foliage, in which two scholars are seated playing weiqi on a natural rock table, their attendant standing in front of it offering up a cup of wine, with another sage strolling in the distance attended by a young servant, and with the God of Longevity seated on a cloud surrounded by the Eight Immortals, with the head of a mythical beast emerging from behind one; the shoulders with a band of formalized waves beneath the clouds of the main design
    1760–1860
    Height: 5.64 cm (including original stopper)
    Mouth/lip: 0.77/1.27 cm
    Stopper: peach stone; carved with a dragon emerging from formalized clouds to grasp a flaming pearl, the integral collar carved with a band of formalized wave design; original

    Condition: natural small holes and cracks present, part of the original material; minor chipping to outer footrim; one miniscule chip from the pines, near the top, far left of the two sages; otherwise, extraordinary condition

    Provenance:
    Unidentified dealer, Shanghai (1933)
    Ko Collection
    Christie's, London, 12 June 1972, lot 163
    Harriet Hamilton
    Chimiles Collection
    Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1996)

    Published:
    Hamilton 1977, p. 23, no. O.114
    Jutheau 1980, p. 137, fig. 3 (the image reversed)
    Treasury 7, no. 1520

    This is the largest known of all peach-stone snuff bottles, and spectacularly one of the best. The stone has obviously come from the mother of all peaches, probably from the large variety that grew in Shandong province. It is also among the most convincingly early of bottles carved from these stones and could well date from the Qianlong period. Many years ago, when Moss made enquiries among the Chinese dealers in Hong Kong as to the source of peach-stone carving in China, he was told that it was mainly a Beijing art form, particularly relying on the larger stones that were a speciality of Shandong province and readily accessible to Beijing carvers. Smaller ones were also carved, however, possibly more often in the south.

    The carving here is impressive, as is the sculptural quality of the many figures depicted. Even on so tiny a scale, the immortals who surround the God of Longevity are each recognizable by their attribute, although one of them can only be identified by default.

    The original stopper is a considerable bonus here and equally well carved, probably from the same massive stone. Its subject, however, is difficult to identify until correctly orientated. At first glance, viewed from the same vantage point as the bottle, it seems to be a jumble of random rocks and clouds above the formalized-wave band at its base. It was not made to be viewed from that perspective, however. It fulfils its role as a matching stopper adequately, but is intended to be viewed independently, when the stopper is removed. Looking down upon it from above, one suddenly spies the dragon's head and its front legs reaching upwards, claws clasping a flaming pearl as the clouds part. It is that final flourish that confirms that we are not dealing with an ordinary work of art here; this comes from an artist who took his art seriously.

    For an extremely unusual, double-gourd-shaped peach-stone snuff bottle from the Blucher Collection, see Moss 1971a, p. 95, no. 144. It is of similar quality and may well be from the same hand. Two other unusual peach-stone bottles have integral ivory necks, feet, and mask handles (Deng Zhong'an 1993, no. 9.1, and Wang Guorui and Wang Tongyan 2005, p. 271). For a spectacular double-gourd-shaped peach-stone bottle carved with the Eight Horses of King Mu, see Hugh M. Moss Ltd 1976, no. 145.

    桃核雕八仙壽老鼻煙壺

    桃核;掏膛完整,凸唇,突出凹底,雕通體仙山對弈、八仙壽星景致
    1760–1860
    高﹕ 5.64 厘米 (包括原件的蓋)
    口經/唇經: 0.77/1.27 厘米
    蓋:桃核,雕雲龍搶焰珠,與座為一體;原件

    狀態敘述:有天然的小孔與裂縫,圈足外緣呈微乎其微的缺口,松 樹有一道微乎其微的缺口;此外, 不可思議的好

    來源﹕
    上海未查明的古董商 (1933)
    克立德珍藏
    倫敦佳士得,1972年6月12日, 拍賣品號 163
    Harriet Hamilton
    Chimiles 珍藏
    Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1996)

    文獻﹕
    Hamilton 1977, 頁 23, 編號O.114
    Jutheau 1980, 頁 137, 圖3 (鏡像)
    Treasury 7, 編號1520

    說明﹕
    這是己知桃核鼻煙壺最大的,而且很可能是乾隆年間雕的。好幾年前,莫士撝在香港打聽桃核雕藝的溫床,他聽說主要是北京的工藝,因為山東桃子果核大。小的桃核雕品也有,而小的可能是南方多。

    罕見的束腰葫蘆形桃核鼻煙壺,見 Moss 1971a, 頁 95, 編號144。它品質可匹比,可能是同一個人雕的。其他見鄧仲安 1993, 編號9.1, 王國瑞、王彤彥 2005, 頁 271,以及 Hugh M. Moss Ltd 1976, 編號145.

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