A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799
Lot 14
A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799
Sold for HK$ 225,000 (US$ 29,027) inc. premium

Lot Details
A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799 A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799 A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799 A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799 A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799
A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle
Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799
5.61cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 1, no. 108

    白玉雕梅花鼻煙壺
    擬御製品,傳宮廷作坊製品,北京,1740~1799

    A white nephrite 'plum blossom' snuff bottle

    Flawless nephrite; well hollowed, with a recessed, rounded-rectangular foot; incised on one side with branches of blossoming prunus and on the other with a related poem in clerical script, the two main panels convex and contained within a frame extending around the outer footrim and up the narrow sides to terminate in a formalized lingzhi-head motif at the shoulders.
    Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1740–1799
    Height: 5.61 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.71/2.09 cm
    Stopper: coral; gilt-bronze collar

    Condition: Workshop condition

    Provenance:
    Alex S. Cussons
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (London, 1971)
    Sotheby's, New York, 15 March 1984, lot 277
    Eugene Sung (New York, 1993)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1995, no. 45
    Treasury 1, no. 108

    Exhibited:
    British Museum, June–October 1995

    This bottle is of flawless greenish-white nephrite, which was an intrinsically valuable material. The unique frames on the two main panels that wrap around the narrow sides and the foot, terminating in a finely carved lingzhi-head motif at the shoulders, are imaginative and beautifully carved, and the shape of the bottle is both elegant and confident. Often the bottles in this group are not independently of high elegance and finish, the main emphasis being on the added decoration of flowers and poems.

    The poetic inscription reads as follows:

    The air of the jade-like plum would match an immortal's makeup.
    First to come out for the spring wind, it takes the lead for all flowers.
    If the Lord of Spring were to grade the top examination entrants,
    Surely the southern branch would be a 'flower-visiting lad'.

    In the Tang and Song dynasties, the two youngest graduates of the jinshi exams were called 'flower-visiting lads'. They had to rush about to the famous gardens and pick flowers before someone else did, or they were made to pay a penalty. This poem is identified by the National Palace Museum in Taiwan as being by the Qianlong emperor; it appears on a jade table screen in the museum's collection.

    This bottle has the typical feature that we have attributed to the palace workshops of being well hollowed but leaving a substantial base area un-hollowed. In this case, the hollowing extends only to 4.77 cm in depth, leaving 0.84 cm as the depth of the un-hollowed base area, which is close to the relationship of solid base to hollowed area on a number of other jade bottles in this collection attributable to the palace workshops.

    This example has a superbly carved foot, of excellent formal integrity, over which great care has been taken, not only in choosing the appropriate shape but in executing it.


    白玉梅花鼻煙壺

    無瑕閃玉;掏膛徹底,有四角圓弧斂底;一正面刻梅花圖,另一正面刻 乾隆御製梅花詩,兩正面的開光邊框起棱,在肩部形成如意雲頭
    擬為御製品,大概為宮廷作坊製品,北京,1740–1799
    高﹕ 5.61 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.71/2.09 厘米
    蓋﹕ 珊瑚; 鎏金青銅座

    狀態敘述: 出坊狀態

    來源:
    Alex S. Cussons
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (London, 1971)
    紐約蘇富比,1984年3月15日,拍賣品號 277
    Eugene Sung (New York, 1993)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 45
    Treasury 1, 編號 108

    展覽﹕
    大英博物館, 1995年6月~10月

    這首御題詩曰: "玉梅標格稱仙粧,頭踏春風領眾芳,設使東皇編甲第,南枝合作探花郎。"探花郎見 宋 魏泰《東軒筆錄》卷六:"進士及第後,例期集一月,共醵罰錢奏宴局,什物皆請同年分掌。又選最年少者二人爲探花使,賦詩,世謂之探花郎。"臺灣故宮博物館藏題這首詩的青玉插屏 。

    本壺掏膛規整,但只有4.77 厘米深,底有0.84 厘米厚。這跟其他推測為宮廷作坊製作的玉料鼻煙壺的比例差不多。 底雕得非常好,很有整合性,不但是造型好,也是精雕細琢。
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