A carved agate snuff bottle with two figures at gate  1780-1850
Lot 19
A carved agate snuff bottle with two figures at gate Official School, 1780-1850
Sold for US$ 12,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
Property of Dr. Martin Roshco
A carved agate snuff bottle with two figures at gate
Official School, 1780-1850
Of compressed ovoid form with a flat lip and wide mouth, with an oval foot rim surrounding a recessed base, the interior very well-hollowed, one side of the exterior finely carved to show a figure sweeping outside a city gate while a gentleman plays the qin above.
2 3/8in (5.9cm high

Footnotes

  • 瑪瑙刻空城計鼻煙壺
    頒賜類

    Provenance:
    Ashkenzie & Co, San Francisco, 1990
    Former Jack Rose Collection

    The scene on the bottle is a reference to "the undefended city" chapter in the epic novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Under pressure from Cao Cao's troops, Zhuge Liang opened the city gate leaving only a sweeper out front while he watched from above plucking a qin. A similarly decorated bottle in the Victoria and Albert Museum dated 1750-1895 is illustrated in Helen White Snuff Bottles from China, p. 48, no 4.
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