An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833
Lot 64
An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833
Sold for HK$ 175,000 (US$ 22,545) inc. premium

Lot Details
An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833 An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle     Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833
An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle
Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833
6.92cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 1, no. 148

    青白玉帶皮饕餮紋鼻煙壺
    繹堂款,1780~1833

    An inscribed pebble-material nephrite 'taotie' snuff bottle

    Nephrite of pebble material with artificial colour; very well hollowed, with a concave foot surrounded by a narrow, flat footrim; carved on each main side with identical taotie masks, the narrow sides each with a formalized, scrolling cloud design, the foot inscribed in seal script Yitang, the natural pebble-skin enhanced with staining
    Yitang seal mark, 1780–1833
    Height: 6.92 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.76/2.10 and 2.04 cm (oval)
    Stopper: coral; bone collar

    Condition: Barely perceptible chips to outer lip; otherwise, workshop condition

    Provenance:
    Clare Lawrence
    Joseph Baruch Silver
    Clare Lawrence
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1992)

    Published:
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 34
    Treasury 1, no. 148

    Exhibited:
    Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, October 1988
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995

    Of the six known bottles made for Nayancheng where his name is inscribed on the foot, this is the only one that is decorated. The material fits ideally into his obvious taste for understated nephrite but the carved detail is unique among the five known examples apparently made specifically for him.

    The nephrite here is stained, in common with so much of what was produced at or for the court during the Qianlong era. The implications of this are fairly obvious. Nayancheng was a high Manchu official familiar with court taste of the late eighteenth century when he began his official career at a time when the Qianlong emperor exerted immense influence over the arts. Whatever the emperor liked would undoubtedly have influenced his close associates and courtiers. This need not necessarily imply that the bottle itself was manufactured at court, but Nayancheng would likely have had access to court workshops and was probably also the recipient of gifts of snuff bottles from the emperor. Whether or not this bottle was a gift from the Qianlong emperor from early in Nayancheng's career, or from the Jiaqing or Daoguang emperors he also served, is stylistically immaterial. The Qianlong emperor's taste, imposed so effectively particularly on jade carving during his reign, continued to be felt in subsequent reigns.

    If this was an Imperial gift, then Nayancheng would probably have taken it to the jade workshop he patronized for some of his other bottles and had his name added to the foot in his apparently common practice of identifying personal ownership. The inscription itself suggests this possibility. All marks are, by definition, added after a bottle had been finished, whether by the original artist or another at the command of the owner. Whoever added this mark began confidently with the first character contained within the right-hand side of the available space, but wrote it rather too large to allow for the comfortable inclusion of the second character within the rest of the space, requiring for calligraphic grace that it overlap the footrim on the left-hand side. This crowding of the inscription onto the foot area is common to all his bottles. This example is extremely well hollowed, in common with five of the six known works bearing his name on the foot, the exception being lot 35 in this sale, which is well hollowed but not as painstakingly as the others. It is also a delightful form in the hand, its size, perfect formal integrity, and compressed ovoid shape fitting ideally into the palm.

    青白玉帶皮饕餮紋鼻煙壺

    卵石料 , 有所沁染;掏膛非常規整,斂底,圈足底全面接地,各正面雕饕餮紋,側面淺刻雲紋,底心陰刻"繹堂"篆款
    繹堂款,1780~1833
    高﹕ 6.92 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.76/2.10 及 2.04 厘米 (橢圓形)
    蓋﹕ 珊瑚;骨座

    狀態敘述:唇外緣薰幾乎看不見的缺口;此外,出坊狀態

    來源:
    Clare Lawrence
    Joseph Baruch Silver
    Clare Lawrence
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1992)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 34
    Treasury 1, 編號 148

    展覽﹕
    Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, October 1988
    香港藝術館,1994年3月~6月
    National Museum of Singapore,1994年11月~1995年2月

    已知的六件帶那彥成款的鼻煙壺中,只有這件不是光素的。可是這件的底款跟其他所有的繹堂款鼻煙壺的底款有一個共同的特點﹕為了保持"繹"、"堂"兩字的平衡,"堂"字左邊的筆畫必須侵犯圈足。

    本壺和這場拍賣會的拍賣品號35的一個差異在於掏膛。本壺像其他四件繹堂款鼻煙壺一樣,掏膛非常規整,而拍賣品號35掏膛好是好,可是沒有如此精工。
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