A 'famille-rose' enamel on stoneware 'landscape' snuff bottle
The Jagged Line Master, Yixing, 18001850 6.47cm high.
Treasury 6, no. 1458
A 'famille-rose' enamelled stoneware 'landscape' snuff bottle
Famille rose enamels on finely-crackled white glaze on reddish-brown stoneware; with a flat lip and slightly concave foot surrounded by a flattened footrim and with a recessed flat panel on each main side; one side painted with a landscape, the other side with a man in a skiff between a cliff on the upper right and a house nestled among rocks and pines on the lower left; the panels surrounded by a simulation of shagreen; the lip and footrim unglazed; the foot and interior glazed white The Jagged Line Master, Yixing, 18001850 Height: 6.47 cm Mouth/lip: 0.63/1.52 cm Stopper: gilt-bronze, chased with a formalized shou ('longevity') character, made from half a garment button; bronze collar
Condition: Tiny chip partly polished off on outer footrim. Not obtrusive. Usual scratches and wear to surface. General relative condition: very good.
Provenance: Drouot, Paris (Millon-Jutheau), 24 April 1983, lot 51 Belfort Collection
Exhibited: British Museum, London, JuneOctober 1995 Israel Museum, Jerusalem, JulyNovember 1997
It is reasonable to conclude that the Jiaqing or early Daoguang are the most likely periods for Yixing bottles of this shape because, although we cannot be sure at what point the form evolved, we do know from the series of identical forms decorated with Pekinese dogs and doves (see Sale 3, lot 110) that it was used in the Daoguang period.
The appeal of the decoration lies in the manner in which the wild but controlled modulation in the outlining brushstrokes and the quick but sure placement of the minor strokes brings these formulaic elements to life.
The panels are surrounded by a design that is intended to imitate shagreen. With its rough surface polished down, shagreen was a tough and attractive material, and it appears in simulations at both Jingdezhen and Yixing at about the same time in the mid- Qing period. The shagreen ground is masterfully done and has obviously received the artist's full attention. The cells vary in size and shape and are drawn with extraordinary care. Subtle variations in the glaze beneath create areas of dark and light that mimic the natural material.