An inscribed yellow glass snuff bottle Imperial glassworks, Beijing, Qianlong incised four-character mark and of the period, 1760-1799
Lot 137
An inscribed yellow glass snuff bottle Imperial glassworks, Beijing, Qianlong incised four-character mark and of the period, 1760-1799
Sold for HK$ 524,000 (US$ 67,612) inc. premium
Lot Details
An inscribed yellow glass snuff bottle
Imperial glassworks, Beijing, Qianlong incised four-character mark and of the period, 1760-1799
5.29cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 5, no. 866

    明黃玻璃御題詩鼻煙壺
    御用玻璃廠,北京,填金「乾隆年製」楷書款,1760~1799

    A yellow glass inscribed snuff bottle

    Semi-transparent yellow, over an inner layer of translucent yellow glass, with gold pigment; with a slightly concave inner lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim; engraved on both main sides with a poetic inscription in clerical script, the foot inscribed in regular script, Qianlong yuzhi ('Made by Imperial command of the Qianlong emperor'), the inscriptions all filled with gold pigment
    Imperial glassworks, Beijing, 1760-1799
    Height: 5.29 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.6/1.4 cm
    Stopper: glass of 'official's hat' shape with integral finial and collar carved with a band of formalized lotus petals

    Condition:
    Insignificant tiny chip and still smaller nibbles to outer lip; similarly minor nibbles to one area of outer footrim; some usual scratching and wear from use but only visible under magnification. General relative condition: excellent

    Provenance:
    Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 3 November 1994, lot 866

    Published:
    JICSBS, Spring 1995, p. 31
    Arts of Asia, March-April 1995, p. 128
    Sin, Hui, and Kwong 1996, no. 12
    Treasury 5, no. 866

    Exhibited:
    The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, October 1996

    By virtue of its inscription, this is related to a jade bottle in this collection that was in the same auction in Hong Kong in 1994 and, although it is not so noted in the catalogue, we believe was from the same collection (for the bottle and details of the collector, see Treasury 1, no. 111). Both bear an encomium to a successful military official, presumably composed by the Qianlong emperor, since both also bear reign marks denoting manufacture at his Imperial command. No military official is specified here, as was the case on the jade example, but the references to the tiger outshining all other species is an obvious metaphor for a victorious general.

    The Imperial encomium is an eight-line regulated verse, four lines on either main side of the bottle:

    I made this ice-like bottle made to store an exceptional scent.
    Neither pearl nor jade, it is most curious and fine.
    The Lord of the Mountain symbolizes all the species;
    The Leader of Beasts has an awesome name that shakes the furthest lands.
    It gives a few long roars and the wind turns frigid.
    As soon as its heroic feelings come out, the air is full of energy.
    This royal court is full of literary talents.
    I bestow this on your family to keep forever.

    The second couplet refers to the tiger, which clearly represents the qualities of the person being favoured by the gift of this snuff bottle.

    The colour here is of the paler, lemon-yellow hue which we have suggested was one of the earlier yellows developed at the Imperial glassworks. The glass is distinctly layered, and the lip reveals a concentric ring of a less transparent, lighter colour inside a more transparent, brighter yellow casing; this is the result of the blowing process rather than being a deliberate overlay. The same is true of Sale 4, lot 159 and lot 133 in this sale.

    As with the jade example, this is likely to date from the second half of the reign, when the emperor spent more time indulging in the arts and composing specific inscriptions to be written both upon ancient objects in his collection and, occasionally, on newly made pieces. The colour, however, might allow it to be a little earlier. The glass is probably from the Imperial glassworks, since the shape is typical of the Qianlong era, and it would be the most convenient place to have it made. The mark, wheel-cut but very carefully inscribed, is commensurate with Qianlong style and credible.


    明黃玻璃御題詩鼻煙壺

    半透明柘黃、金彩,有通亮黃玻璃內層; 微凹內唇,平斂底,突出圈足,圈足底全面接觸地面;兩面刻一首律詩,外底鐫"乾隆年製"楷書雙行款,刻文填金
    御用玻璃廠,北京,1760-1799
    高﹕ 5.29 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.6/1.4 厘米
    蓋﹕ 玻璃,官帽形,與頂飾、座為一體,雕一圈蓮瓣紋

    狀態敘述:唇外沿呈微乎其微的缺口、更小的咬痕,圈足外壁一處有類似的咬痕,表面呈一般性的刮痕,只有放大才看得見。一般性相對的狀態:極善

    來源:
    香港蘇富比,1994年11月3日,拍賣品號 866

    文獻﹕
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》,1995春期,頁31
    Arts of Asia, March-April 1995, p. 128
    冼祖謙、許建勳、鄺溥銘 1996, 編號 12
    Treasury 5, 編號 866

    展覽﹕
    徐氏藝術館, 香港,1996年10月

    本本壺吹製程序的一個結果是不同透亮度的內外二層。 第四場拍賣會,拍賣品號 159 和本場拍賣品號 133 具同樣的特色。

    砣刻的年款是乾隆時期的風格,刻得很精細,可信。
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