An enamel on porcelain 'boy' snuff bottle Jingdezhen, 1810–1860
Lot 22
An enamel on porcelain 'boy' snuff bottle Jingdezhen, 1810–1860
Sold for HK$ 112,500 (US$ 14,507) inc. premium
Lot Details
An enamel on porcelain 'boy' snuff bottle
Jingdezhen, 1810–1860
9.45cm high.


  • Treasury 6, no. 1339

    景德鎮, 1810~1860

    An enamelled porcelain 'boy' snuff bottle

    Green, iron-red, aubergine, and black enamels on colourless glaze on porcelain; moulded in the form of a young boy wearing a child's apron (doudu) covering his chest and abdomen to just above his groin and bracelets on both wrists and ankles, holding a peach, the stubbly, shaved head painted in a thin aubergine enamel, the underside of the feet glazed; the interior unglazed
    Jingdezhen, 1810–1860
    Height: 9.45 cm
    Mouth: 0.5 cm
    Stopper: coral

    Condition: End of the penis broken off; otherwise, kiln condition

    Dwight C. Harris
    Christie's, London, 13 November, 1961, lot 10
    Lydia Tovey
    Sotheby's, London, 28 April 1987, lot 650

    JICSBS, Summer 1987, p. 28
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 158
    Treasury 6, no. 1339

    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum of Singapore, November 1994–February 1995

    This rare model of a boy holding a peach is distinguished by the size of the head and the adult-like face. Despite the face, his garb is definitely of a type reserved for children, so the exposure of his genitalia would not raise eyebrows in most parts of the world.

    The colours are drawn from the famille verte palette, and the overall feeling of the child is somewhat similar to a group of well-known pairs of boys made in large quantities during the Kangxi period, mostly, it seems, for export to Europe. If such figures were the inspiration for this bottle, it is a good rationale for the use of the traditional palette. The use of a very thin wash of aubergine to depict the shaven head is both unusual and remarkably effective. The enamel is so diluted that the individual grains of finely ground glass can be seen in a wash of palest purple, making for an ideal depiction of stubbly hair.

    The fact that the interior is unglazed may be an indication that it is from the earlier end of the dating range we suggest. Whenever it was made, it is a striking model dramatized by the restrained use of a limited palette of bold colours.

    A similar bottle was offered at auction in the U.S. in 1921 (Glickman 2006, p. 10, fig. 1.19); other related bottles are in Hall 1996, no. 3, JICSBS, Winter 1985, p. 25, and JICSBS, Autumn 1998, p. 1, although none is from the same mould.


    景德鎮, 1810–1860
    高﹕ 9.45 厘米
    口徑﹕ 0.5 厘米
    蓋﹕ 珊瑚

    狀態敘述: 陰莖端折掉了;此外,出窯狀態

    Dwight C. Harris
    倫敦佳士得,1961年11月13日,拍賣品號 10
    Lydia Tovey
    倫敦蘇富比,1987年4月28日,拍賣品號 650

    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》,1987年夏商,頁 28
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 158
    Treasury 6, 編號 1339

    National Museum of 新加坡,1994年11月~1995年2月


    內壁不施釉,可能是標志這件鼻煙壺是嘉慶朝作的。1921年有類似的一件煙壺在美國的拍賣會上卞售 (Glickman 2006, 頁 10, 圖 1.19);其他相關的鼻煙壺有 Hall 1996, 編號 3, 《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》, 1985年冬期,頁25, 及《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》,1998年秋期,頁 1。其中沒有同模子出的。