An inside-painted carved crystal snuff bottle Yiru jushi, attributable to Beijing, dated 1807 (the bottle: 1750–1807)
Lot 4
An inside-painted carved crystal snuff bottle Yiru jushi, attributable to Beijing, dated 1807 (the bottle: 1750–1807)
Sold for HK$ 150,000 (US$ 19,343) inc. premium
Lot Details
An inside-painted carved crystal snuff bottle
Yiru jushi, attributable to Beijing, dated 1807 (the bottle: 1750–1807)
5.39cm high.


  • Treasury 4, no. 441


    A carved crystal inside-painted snuff bottle

    Pale brown crystal and ink; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim; carved on one main side with a flowering peony and on the other with a flowering chrysanthemum, each contained within a protruding quatrefoil frame; painted on one narrow side with a scholar reaching up with a brush to inscribe an invisible rock face, his attendant beside him holding his inkstone, beneath the inscription 'After [the style of] Shitian' and the signature Banshan, and on the other narrow side with an orchid growing from a rocky bank beneath the inscription 'Following the brush-style of [Academician] Awaiting Orders Wen,' the shoulders inscribed 'Long life equal to the sacred mountains; blessings as eternal as the sea and the sky,' the panel with chrysanthemums inscribed 'The integrity of Pengze [is strong enough to] resist the cold weather,' and that with the peony, 'A single peony is worth a thousand pieces of gold,' followed by 'Written on a spring day in the year dingmao,' and the Manchu signature, Yun Jeng; the Chinese inscriptions all in regular script
    Bottle: 1750–1807
    Painting: Yiru jushi, attributable to Beijing, 1807
    Height: 5.39 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.51/1.60 cm
    Stopper: glass; vinyl collar

    Condition: Bottle: three areas of nibbling to the outer footrim; some icy flaws and cracks and one insignificant chip to the quatrefoil frame; otherwise, workshop condition. Painting: studio condition, but with a backing of snuff staining

    Trojan Collection
    Robert Hall (1993)

    Hall 1992, no. 81
    Treasury 4, no. 441

    Christie's, London, 1999

    TaoYuanming (also known as Tao Qian), in a brief official career, was called upon to serve as the district magistrate of Pengze in what is now Jiangxi province, a post he held for only eighty-three days before his sense of honour forced him to resign; he refused to bow to men he considered his moral inferiors for the sake of a meagre stipend, forever making him a symbol of integrity and earning him the occasional sobriquet, Tao Pengze. He is also known for his passion for the chrysanthemum, a flower that can withstand the adverse conditions in late autumn.

    The famous Ming literati painter Wen Zhengming (1470–1559) was appointed as academician awaiting orders in the Hanlin Academy in 1523; since the Song dynasty, the post was a substantive one, despite the name. Shitian also appeared on Sale 2, lot 124, as another model for Yiru jushi; he is an earlier Ming artist, Shen Zhou.

    As mentioned in the commentary for Sale 2, lot 124, Yiru jushi is probably to be identified with Hongwu (d. 1811), a grandson of the Kangxi emperor.

    The orchids here are as accomplished as any painted by Yiru jushi. When painting orchids, modulation of the brush is paramount. By varying the pressure on the brush the line modulates from a thin line made by the point of the brush alone to a broader stroke made by the body of the brush under pressure, and with this sort of brushwork one can depict in a single stroke the long, elegant, resilient leaf of the plant as it twists in the breeze. As far as we know, all inside-painted artists until the modern Shandong school started up after the mid-nineteen-fifties used bamboo pens rather than brushes. With impressive virtuosity, Yiru jushi has managed to match with his pen the modulations of a brush in the hands of a skilled artist, resulting in one of the most impressive paintings of orchids in the entire medium.


    淺棕色水晶,墨;平唇, 平斂底突出圈足,圈足底全面接觸地面;一面刻牡丹,一面刻菊花,各有突出海棠形框,一側面內畫高士題壁圖,其上寫"仿石田,半山"; 另一側面蘭花,上有"仿文待詔書"五字;肩部四面寫"長壽 山岳 ;永福 海天";刻菊花的一面內書"彭澤高風耐歲寒,丁卯春日並書"及滿文Yun Jeng ;刻牡丹的一面內書"牡丹一朵值千金"
    高﹕ 5.39 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.51/1.60 厘米
    蓋﹕ 玻璃;乙烯基座

    狀態敘述: 壺﹕圈足外壁有三處咬痕,海棠形框呈些如冰瑕形狀的瑕疵、裂縫和一個微不足道的缺口;此外,出坊狀態。內畫﹕出齋狀況,只是有所呈鼻煙的沁染

    羅伯特.霍爾 (1993)

    Hall 1992, 編號 81
    Treasury 4, 編號 441


    文待詔,文徵明 (1470–1559) 也。石田,沈周也。參見第二場拍賣會, 拍賣品號 124。一如居士大概是弘旿(1743~1811)。
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