A 'famille-rose' enamel on copper with gold 'European figures' snuff bottle   Imperial, Guangzhou, Qianlong black-enamelled four-character mark and of the period, 1736–1770
Lot 126
A 'famille-rose' enamel on copper with gold 'European figures' snuff bottle Imperial, Guangzhou, Qianlong black-enamelled four-character mark and of the period, 1736–1770
Sold for HK$ 860,000 (US$ 110,904) inc. premium
Lot Details
A 'famille-rose' enamel on copper with gold 'European figures' snuff bottle
Imperial, Guangzhou, Qianlong black-enamelled four-character mark and of the period, 1736–1770
4.8cm high.


  • Treasury 6, no. 1132


    A 'famille-rose' enamelled-copper 'European figures' snuff bottle

    Famille rose enamels on copper, with gold; with a flat lip and very slightly recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim; each main side with a panel of a European subject, one a woman leaning against what appears to be a closed sack and holding a spray of flowers beside a young boy holding a fruit in a garden setting beneath a tree, a tower topped with a cross set amidst distant trees seen on the far banks of a river beyond, the other main side a man and a woman holding goblets, seated with a garden and nearby houses around them and a draped curtain above held back by tasselled cords, the panels surrounded by a chased metal design, the immediate frame foliate, the panels further enclosed within a formalized floral design in raised, chased metal on a blue enamel ground; the upper footrim and neck with raised metal strips separating areas of enamel, those at the foot of foliate design and those at the neck of formalized lingzhi design, both enclosing a painted formalized floral design in pink; the foot inscribed in black regular script, Qianlong nian zhi ('Made during the Qianlong era'), the interior covered with a patchy, pale turquoise-blue enamel, the interior of the neck with an additional metal lining below the lip, all exposed metal gilt
    Imperial, Guangzhou, 1736–1770
    Height: 4.8 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.78/1.20 cm
    Stopper: gilt bronze, chased with a formalized floral design

    Some chips around the upper neck restored; some abrasions from use. General relative condition: very good

    Robert Hall
    Mei Ling Collection
    Sotheby's, New York, 15 March 1984, lot 76
    Ashkenazie, San Francisco, (1987)

    JICSBS, September 1980, p. 47
    JICSBS, Spring 1984, p.ii
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 9
    Kleiner 1995, no. 15
    Treasury 6, no. 1132

    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum of Singapore, November 1994–February 1995
    British Museum, London, June–October 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

    This represents a very rare group from Guangzhou that can be dated to the first half of the Qianlong reign. The group is defined by the gilt-metal relief surrounding the panels and by the raised metal strips separating areas of decoration; these appear to be the result of carving away the surrounding metal in a champlevé technique, rather than applying raised wires as with cloisonné. The few known Guangzhou examples of this type are very clearly a response to the series of early-Qianlong bottles, several of which are in solid gold. The court would have developed the Beijing prototype and then ordered counterparts from Guangzhou. In this case, the Beijing prototypes far outnumber the Guangzhou versions. For other Guangzhou examples and examples of the original Beijing style that no doubt inspired the present group, see the commentary on this bottle in Treasury 6. Another feature of this group, from both Beijing and Guangzhou, is the use of a monochrome enamel for the champlevé areas – evident in the dark-blue enamel ground here.

    Unlike his father, who disliked figure subjects generally and Western subjects in particular, the Qianlong emperor embraced both wholeheartedly from the start. Once the new emperor's taste was known, the response from Guangzhou would have been rapid. What we have here is a typical Guangzhou echo of these early-Qianlong Beijing wares. The accommodation might have continued into the mid-reign, but the European figures seem to reflect European style during the early Qianlong era; Guangzhou reflections of current European fashion are, understandably, rather more accurate than those of missionaries at Beijing.

    A feature of many of these European scenes, whether from Beijing or Guangzhou, is a framing curtain draped across the top and down one side of the design. In many cases, these can be seen as interior curtains, perhaps draping a window, or at least sensibly inside the building (see, for instance, the early-Qianlong enamel-on-glass bottle in the J & J Collection, The Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, no. 185). In the present instance, the positions of both the curtain and the figures relative to the garden are ambiguous, and while the viewer could certainly be looking through a window at the scene, we must remember that the draped curtain is a general compositional device taken from European designs of the seventeenth century; it appears on a number of the enamels and prints that would have provided inspiration to Chinese enamellers. That the Guangzhou artists took it as a general framing device rather than an object in a realistic scene is suggested by a painting on glass from about 1800 in which a large tree (beneath which sits a woman with a cherub and a nearby snake) is draped with a red curtain, despite being unambiguously in an outdoor landscape (Howard and Ayers 1978, no. 671).

    The writing of the mark here is of the standard Guangzhou style: in regular script but lacking solid calligraphic authority. During the Qianlong reign, the black colour used for the Yongzheng reign mark was continued, at least on many of the earlier wares.


    銅胎畫琺瑯,黃金;平唇,微微凸斂底, 突出圈足,圈足底全面接觸地面;各正面開光中繪歐州人物,以紳士士女為主紋的有束起的門簾或窗簾,以母子為主題的一面有教堂,開光外有各種鏤刻的突出金屬設計元素,底書黑彩 "乾隆年製"無框雙行楷書款,內壁施不均的綠松石藍琺瑯;露出的金屬都鎏金
    高﹕ 4.8 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.78/1.20 厘米
    蓋﹕ 鎏金青銅,鏤刻形式化的花朵


    Mei Ling 珍藏
    紐約蘇富比,1984年3月15日,拍賣品號 76
    Ashkenazie, San Francisco, (1987)

    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, September 1980, p. 47
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, Spring 1984, p.ii
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 9
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 15
    Treasury 6, 編號 1132
    National Museum of 新加坡,1994年11月~1995年2月
    大英博物館, 1995年6月~10月
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7月~月11月

    本壺代表乾隆前半葉一批廣州製的極少見的鼻煙壺。這一批的特點是鎏金浮雕開光框及飾紋各部分間的金屬棱;看起來,這都是用像無絲琺瑯的技巧作的。已知廣州製的例子很明顯是反應北京作的原型,那些乾隆初期的煙壺中有純金的。現存的北京原型鼻煙壺比廣州 的反應品多得多。其他例子的詳細的論述,見 Treasury 6 中本壺的說明。
Similar items