Flawless, transparent, orange-brown amber, the exterior surfaces extensively crizzled; with a flat lip and flat foot; carved on each main side with a raised central panel containing a yinyang symbol on a concave octagonal panel with eight radiating lines 17201840 Height: 4.75 cm Mouth/lip: 0.46/1.34 cm Stopper: mother-of-pearl; gilt-silver collar
Condition: Material extensively crizzled; abraded losses to top of lip, perhaps where a stopper was once glued down; tiny chip to outer lip and footrim; one small chip to edge of one main side, and two smaller ones to edge of other main side. General relative condition: good
Provenance: Alex S. Cussons Jeremy Cussons Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1996)
Published: Treasury 7, no. 1584
Unlike so many amber snuff bottles, this is of flawless material beneath the fine, random pattern of crizzling on its outer surface, although it is of a paler, more golden brown colour. There is an effective formal difference between the exterior shape and the shape of the interior hollowing, particularly striking because the central design on the two main sides is also circular. This cleverly provides a double frame for the central motif: a broader circular frame created by the interior form, and the octagonal outer frame of the exterior panel. Obviously, the two main sides were originally completely flat; to throw the central motif into relief, material has been removed in gradations towards the circular central panel.