Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850
Lot 28
Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850
Sold for HK$ 237,500 (US$ 30,642) inc. premium

Lot Details
Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850 Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850
Two blue and white porcelain 'dragon' snuff bottles
Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, Daoguang four-character marks and of the period, 1821–1850
5.6cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 6, no. 1293 and 1294

    青花雙龍戲珠鼻煙壺兩件
    官窯,景德鎮, 青花「道光年製」楷書款,1821~1850

    Two blue-and-white porcelain 'dragons' snuff bottles

    Colourless glaze on cobalt on porcelain; two bottles; each with a convex lip and slightly concave foot; each painted under the glaze with an identical composition of a continuous design of two Imperial five-clawed dragons, one about to grasp a flaming pearl, each beast filling one main side and surrounded by formalized clouds; the foot inscribed in underglaze-blue regular script, Daoguang nian zhi ('Made during the Daoguang period'); each with the lip and inner neck glazed; the interior unglazed
    Jingdezhen, 1821–1850
    Heights: 5.6 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.71/1.45 and 0.75/1.40 cm
    Stoppers: glass, pearl finials; vinyl collars

    Condition: Both with minor abrasions to surface from wear;1294 has one chip towards the base on the narrow side; otherwise, kiln condition.

    Provenance:
    First bottle:
    Robert Hall (1979)
    Gerd Lester (1986)
    Second bottle:
    Sotheby's, London, 6 June 1988, lot 13

    Published:
    First bottle:
    Kleiner 1987, no. 233
    Treasury 6, no. 1293
    Second bottle:
    Kleiner 1995, no. 223
    Treasury 6, no. 1294

    Exhibited:
    First bottle:
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
    Second bottle:
    British Museum, London, June–October 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

    Production of sets or series of porcelain snuff bottles continued in the Daoguang period. Surviving examples on which the same design is seen over and over again, often with differences in composition, suggest that favoured designs were ordered in sets of ten, twenty, or possibly more. When supplies ran low, they were reordered. If surviving examples are anything to go by, the Daoguang reign saw no reduction in Imperial porcelain snuff-bottle production; it is possible that more were produced per annum during the Daoguang reign than either before or afterwards. Another from this set remains in the Imperial collection (Li Jiufang 2002, no. 333), and one is in the Franz Collection (Sin, Hui, and Kwong 1996, no. 88).

    With the compressed form of these bottles, we see classical construction in a two-part mould with vertical join and, in this case, unglazed interiors. There seems to have been a greater tendency in the mid-Qing to glaze the interiors of uncompressed forms than of compressed ones. By the Daoguang reign, however, most porcelain bottles (with the notable exception of the Wang Bingrong group, such as Sale 1, lot 112) had glazed interiors, so these are an exception. Whatever the root cause of this shift in fashion, it spanned the mid-Qing period; we can only suggest that the unglazed interiors here indicate a date from early in the reign.

    There is one last feature of this impressive pair that is worth mentioning, although they are not, strictly speaking a pair at all, but two of a series or set. The control of the fine-line drawing is exceptional for bottles on a normal porcelain surface, as opposed to the special surface developed to control underglaze pigment. The massive production of underglaze snuff bottles of the mid-Qing period appears to have paid off in the refinement of the technology needed to control these volatile pigments when it mattered.

    青花雙龍戲珠鼻煙壺一對

    瓷胎鈷料上無色釉;每壺都具凸唇,微凹底,繪青花五爪龍一對, 底書青花 "道光年製" 雙行無框楷款,唇及內頸皆施釉,內壁卻不施釉
    景德鎮, 1821–1850
    高﹕5.6 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.71/1.45 及 0.75/1.40 厘米
    蓋﹕玻璃,珍珠頂飾;乙烯基座

    狀態敘述:兩件都呈現表面上的擦傷;一件有靠近底的一缺口;此外,出窯狀態.

    來源:
    第一件:
    羅伯特.霍爾 (1979)
    Gerd Lester (1986)
    第二件:
    倫敦蘇富比,1988年6月6日,拍賣品號 13

    文獻﹕
    第一件﹕
    Kleiner 1987, 編號 233
    Treasury 6, 編號 1293
    第二件﹕
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 223
    Treasury 6, 編號 1294

    展覽﹕
    第一件﹕
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd.,倫敦,1987年10月
    Creditanstalt, 維也納, 1993年5月~6月
    第二件﹕
    大英博物館, 1995年6月~10月
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7月~月11月
    成套的瓷胎鼻煙壺到了道光朝還繼續作,鼻煙壺的生產力並沒有衰退。故宮珍藏藏有同套的一件 (李久芳 2002, 編號 333),Franz 珍藏也收藏一件 (冼祖謙、許建勳、鄺溥銘 1996, 編號 88)。

    這兩件值得一提的特點是,就非敷上"滑石"泥漿的坯來說,釉下纖細線條如此不暈散是規外地精妙。可見,清中葉青花鼻煙壺的量產得到了技術精煉的好結果。
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