An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825
Lot 25
An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825
Sold for HK$ 100,000 (US$ 12,901) inc. premium

Lot Details
An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825 An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825 An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825 An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825 An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825
An inside-painted crystal 'landscape' snuff bottle
Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825
5.39cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 4, no. 459

    水晶內畫詩意山水鼻煙壺
    甘烜文,嶺南流派,1810~1825

    An inside-painted 'landscape' snuff bottle

    Crystal, ink, and watercolours; with a slightly concave lip and protruding concave foot surrounded by a flattened footrim; painted on one main side with a scholar in fisherman's garb and boat in the reeds beneath an overhanging cliff, with sailing boats visible beyond the reeds and the river valley stretching into the distance between towering peaks, with rooftops nestling in their foothills, the narrow sides with two vignettes, one of orchids, the other of bamboo, both growing beside rocks, the other main side with a poem in regular script with a strong clerical-script flavour
    Gan Xuanwen, Lingnan school, 1810–1825
    Height: 5.39 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.55/1.50 cm
    Stopper: tourmaline; vinyl collar

    Condition: Bottle: tiny flake chip to outer lip, and two other areas of practically imperceptible chips on outer lip rim; two areas of chipping on outer footrim; two tiny chips to the edge of one side panel and two minute chips to the base of the front panel. Painting: slight fading of colours; otherwise, in unusually good condition for a Lingnan school bottle

    Provenance:
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (circa 1969)
    Heflene Collection
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1985)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 248
    Treasury 4, no. 459

    Exhibited:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
    Christie's, Londong, 1999

    The poem quoted here was composed by the Tang poet Sikong Shu (fl. 766) and is entitled 'On the River Village.' It reads:

    I stop fishing and come home, but don't tie up my boat;
    Over the river village the moon is setting: it is time to sleep.
    Even if the wind blows all night and takes my boat away,
    It will remain among the flowers of the reeds, by the shallow waters.

    Some readers may notice that the poem is transcribed in simplified characters. However, this does not mean the bottle was painted after these became the official forms in mainland China in several rounds in the 1950s and 1960s! All of the characters are attested in pre-modern texts, usually as 'vulgar' (cf. vulgate) variants. For the tiny space within a snuff bottle, they have obvious advantages.

    The painting is in remarkably good condition, with all of the original colours still visible and the subtlety of the washes and brushwork plain to read. It is a strange departure from Gan's usual practice insofar as it has no signature or seals. Even his unsigned works normally have at least token seals, whereas here there is nothing. He has absorbed himself in the personality of Sikong Shu. He has become his image, so no signature is necessary. To learn the name of the artist, step into the picture and ask the man in the boat.

    水晶內畫詩意山水鼻煙壺

    水晶、墨、水彩;微凹唇,戭出凸底,弄平的圈足;一面內畫扁舟獨宿蘆花圖,一側面內畫竹石圖,另一側面內畫蘭石圖,一正面內書司空署《江村即事》
    甘烜文,嶺南流派,1810–1825
    高﹕ 5.39 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.55/1.50 厘米
    蓋﹕ 碧璽;乙烯基座

    狀態敘述: 壺﹕唇外沿呈微小的缺口,唇外緣有兩個幾乎看不見的缺口,圈足外壁有些缺口,一側面開光和山水圖下邊各有兩個小缺口。內畫﹕所一點點退色;此外,就嶺南流派的內畫鼻煙壺來說唱,意外地良好

    來源:
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (約 1969)
    Heflene Collection
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1985)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner 1987, 編號 248
    Treasury 4, 編號 459

    展覽﹕
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd.,倫敦,1987年10月
    Creditanstalt, 維也納, 1993年5月~6月
    Christie's, Londong, 1999

    題句是用簡體字寫的,但所有簡化的字是明清已經出現象的"俗字"。

    這幅畫保存得非常好。奇怪的是沒有甘烜文的款識或印章。平常,連他畫的無款內畫鼻煙壺還是鈐象徵性的印。欲知誰所畫,隔水問漁夫!
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