Nephrite; very well hollowed, with a flat foot; carved on each side with the Eight Trigrams surrounding a yinyang symbol, contained within a border of single-unit leiwen, the foot incised in seal script Xingyouheng tang ('Hall of Constancy') 18001854 Height: 5.17 cm Mouth/lip: 0.51/1.50 and 1.40 cm (oval) Stopper: glass; glass collar
Condition: Small chips and nibbles to the edges of the rectangular carvings, both sides; otherwise, workshop condition
Provenance: Sotheby's, New York, 3 November 1982, lot 116 Eric Young Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 28 October 1993, lot 1187
For other works of art bearing his studio name and further discussion, see Tsang and Moss 1986, no. 108 (one of several known questionable gourd vessels); no. 109 (an enamelled Yixing teapot precisely dated to 1849); no. 110 (a white nephrite brush washer); no. 111 (a soapstone brush washer dated 1849) and no. 145 (a Duan inkstone brush washer). Other wares with his name were published in Paul Moss 1983, no. 109 (a glass overlay waterpot); no. 110 (a plain crystal snuff bottle); and no. 111 (the agate snuff bottle now in the Bloch Collection and published by Kleiner 1987, no. 166), and in Beurdeley and Lambert-Brouillet 1984, p. 157, no. 113 (a ruby-glass snuff bottle purchased for the Bloch Collection at the Eric Young sale held at Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 28 October 1993, lot 1011), and pp. 158 and 159, no. 114, (a crystal bottle dated to the summer of 1849 with added decoration from the 1960s); Hui, Polak, and Sin 1991, no. 250 (a rectangular white glass bottle), and in Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty, p. 71, no. 74 (green glass snuff bottle). Another plain crystal bottle in the Bloch Collection was acquired after it was painted on the inside by Wang Xisan in the early 1960s. Several other bottles are known in crystal and jade, some of which are in the Bloch Collection (for four other jade examples, see nos. 151154).
For a similar white nephrite bottle with no mark, see Hong Kong Auctioneers and Estate Agents, 29 September 1991, lot 111.
The jade in this bottle is of a pale greenish-white colour with some tiny grey and chalkier white inclusions. The shape of the bottle is derived from the European watches imported into China during the early Qing period that were one of the main sources of examples of Western enamelling on metal in the early Qing palace workshops where craftsmen were learning to perfect the art for themselves.
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