An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893
Lot 30
An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893
Sold for HK$ 62,500 (US$ 8,063) inc. premium

Lot Details
An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893 An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893 An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893 An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893 An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893
An inside-painted glass 'herdboy' snuff bottle
Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, dated 1893
6cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 4, no. 507

    玻璃內畫牡童吹笛鼻煙壺
    葉仲三,北京崇文區杏林齋,1893年作

    An inside-painted 'herdboy' snuff bottle

    Glass, ink, and watercolours; with a concave lip and recessed convex foot, surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; painted on one main side with a dragonfly flying above a katydid, the other main side with a herdboy playing a flute on the back of his water buffalo in the shallows of a river, inscribed in draft script 'Painted by Ye Zhongsan at the capital in the first winter month of the year kuisi, for the pure appreciation of Xingwu, the honourable elder brother,' with one seal of the artist, huayin ('painting seal'), in negative seal script
    Ye Zhongsan, The Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, first month of winter, 1893
    Height: 6 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.51/1.61 cm
    Stopper: quartzite; gilt-silver collar

    Condition: Bottle: small chips and nibbles to outer lip. Painting: some slight fading of the colours and snuff staining. General relative condition: good

    Provenance:
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1993)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1995, no. 400
    Treasury 4, no. 507

    Exhibited:
    British Museum, London, June–November 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997
    Christie's, London, 1999

    This is dedicated to Xingwu, the name adopted by Sun Xingwu (the painter of Sale 2, lot 97 and Sale 4, lot 93). Sun's earliest extant works are dated 1894. If we assume that his career started some time earlier than that, he may have been well enough established by late 1893 that Ye Zhongsan, whose known output had begun only in the spring of 1892, would have looked up to him as a senior artist. There is also a bottle by Zhou Leyuan dedicated to someone named Xingwu and dated 1889 (Treasury 4, no. 479). That would suggest that Sun Xingwu was already a known artist in 1889, but it could also support alternative hypotheses. Sun may have been the recipient of these bottles from Zhou and Ye before he himself took up inside painting in 1894 or a bit earlier (see Treasury 4, no. 479, for discussion).

    Or this Xingwu may be another person altogether; as we have pointed out, there were several people alive at the time who used Xingwu as a courtesy name (zi), although it was also a regular given name (ming). Among these we may now mention Dong Fuxiang (1839 – 1908), a Hui (Muslim) general from Gansu who participated in an 1862 rebellion against the Qing but surrendered and ended up suppressing other Hui rebellions. Dong was a military commander in Kashgar in 1890 and a provincial military commander in Gansu in 1895, and in 1897 he was stationed at the capital. Whether or not he was passing through Beijing when these bottles were painted, we might note that Ye Zhongsan and Zhou Leyuan were both of the Hui minority, as was Ma Shaoxuan (and some important figures in Beijing opera circles, where snuff and snuff bottles were of particular importance; see Liu Tongsheng 2004, pp. 478–479); the fact that Ma's last bottle was painted for a delegation of Chinese Muslims to present to the king of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the 1933 celebration of the kingdom's first year of existence (Ma Zengshan 1998, p. 119) suggests that some of the most significant Beijing inside-painting artists were close enough to the Hui community that they could be called upon to paint bottles for people whom that community considered important—or that they would paint such bottles on their own initiative, if they were acquainted with the recipient. None of this proves that the Xingwu to whom this bottle was presented is actually Dong Fuxiang; again, there were others alive at that time who used this name. But perhaps it is good to be a little more cautious about identifying this Xingwu with Sun Xingwu, and the ethnic identity of these inside painters surely deserves more of our attention.

    玻璃內畫牡童吹笛鼻煙壺

    玻璃,墨,水彩; 凹唇,凸斂底,突出圈足,圈足底為一圓棱;一正面內繪蜻蜓螽斯圖,另一正面內繪牡牛童子吹橫笛圖,上題"星五大兄大人清賞,癸巳孟冬寫於京師,葉仲三",以白文"畫印"篆印結尾
    葉仲三,北京崇文區杏林齋, 1893年農曆十月
    高﹕ 6 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.51/1.61 厘米
    蓋﹕ 英石岩;鎏金銀座

    狀態敘述: 壺﹕唇外緣呈細小的缺口及咬痕。 內畫﹕微微的退色、鼻煙染污。一般性相對的狀態:善

    來源:
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1993)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 400
    Treasury 4, 編號 507

    展覽﹕
    大英博物館, 1995年6月~11月
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7月~月11月
    倫敦佳士得,1999年

    星五,內畫家孫星五所取之號也 (參見 第二場拍賣會, 拍賣品號 97 和 第四場拍賣會,拍賣品號 93)。孫星五署紀年款最早的作品是1894年畫的。如果我們假設他是那年以前就業的,到了1893年年底他很可能是葉仲三所仰望的資深內繪家。葉仲三是1892年春才開起家的。周樂元也有敬奉叫星五的人的一件署1889年紀年款煙壺 (Treasury 4, 編號 479),這好像是意味著在那時候孫星五已經有了一定的名聲。不過,還有另一種說法。孫星五也可能是開始內繪以前收到的這兩件煙壺(參閱 Treasury 4, 編號 479, 的論述)。

    但也可能是"星五大兄大人"和孫星五是兩回事。字星五的,號星五的、名星五的不乏其人。可以提出的有董福祥 (1839 – 1908) ,回族,甘肅人, 光緒十六年(1890年)任喀什噶爾提督,二十一年(1895年)任甘肅提督,平定回族和撒拉族起義後就封為大子少保,二十年、二十三年,董福祥兩次駐北京。那麼,這些內繪鼻煙壺畫成的時候,這位字星五的將軍很可能是過京師的。當然,如果它們是畫給以董星五的,不一定是他在北京的時候奉上的。

    我們還得注意到,葉仲三跟周樂元都是回族;聞鼻煙很流行的京劌界也包括回族的出名人物。(參閱 劉同生 2004, 頁 478–479。) 馬少宣也是回族 ;他擱筆之作是送給沙特.阿拉伯王國伊賓.沙特畫的。馬增善 1998, 頁 119 說﹕"那一年,中國穆斯林中非常出色的大阿訇馬松亭先生要去沙特阿拉伯朝覲,并參加王國成立二周年慶典,晉見沙特國王。馬阿訇敬慕馬少宣先生的內畫壺藝術,請大師作內畫壺以為晉見國王時的禮物。"可見,內畫家在中國穆斯林關係網中有一定的地位,而且他們會被委托畫出內畫鼻煙壺以贈送穆斯林社區所仰望的人物。

    這都不證明本壺的星五大兄大人是董福祥。但是我們要老提醒自己,看到星五這個名子不要想當然是內畫家孫星五。此外,北京內畫家的穆斯林特性也許是值得考慮的一個課題。
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