A citrine snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1660–1820
Lot 67
A citrine snuff bottle Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1660–1820
Sold for HK$ 43,750 (US$ 5,644) inc. premium
Lot Details
A citrine snuff bottle
Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1660–1820
6.3cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 2, no. 234

    黃水晶八角形鼻煙壺
    擬御製品,傳宮廷作坊製品,北京,1660~1820

    A citrine snuff bottle

    Flawless citrine; well-hollowed, with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim
    Probably Imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1660–1820
    Height: 6.3 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.59/1.52 and 1.48 cm (oval)
    Stopper: coral; nephrite collar

    Condition: Tiny chip to inner lip; two small chips to footrim, one partially polished out; insignificant nibbles to one of the top corner points, just out from the neck and on one edge towards the base

    Provenance:
    Joseph Baruch Silver
    Christie's, Hong Kong 1/2 October 1991, lot 1163

    Published:
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 205
    Treasury 2, no. 234

    Exhibited:
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Winter 1987
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995

    The Imperial designation here is reasonably certain, since so many of these faceted forms were courtly products, and the workmanship is impeccable, which was standard for the best of court products (although it is likely that large orders for distribution as gifts may have been to lower standards of workmanship simply because of the sheer numbers involved). The hollowing is extremely well done, although leaving sufficient thickness of wall to show off the rare material to advantage, and the faceting is almost mechanically accurate. The result is one of the most imposing of Imperial faceted bottles of any material and, being in crystal, rather rare, although it is worth bearing in mind the modern production of the past fifteen or twenty years in response to the demand for various faceted forms.

    The material here is not colourless, as it appears at first glance, but very slightly tinted. It may be a pale shade of brown crystal, but if so, it is so pale as to appear yellow. Since the distinction between brown crystal and citrine is only one of colour and because this appears to be yellowish, citrine seems a reasonable appellation, in which case it is even more unusual, as early examples in this stone are extremely rare (although, again, beware of modern products since the 1960s, often in a rather impressive, much brighter yellow material and sometimes carved in palace style with busy archaistic designs in low relief).

    Being faceted, close to known seventeenth-century watches in form, and probably Imperial, there is no reason why such a bottle as this could not have been among the earliest produced at court in hardstones, hence the earlier possible dating given. It is also quite possible that hardstone faceted bottles of this kind, derived from the watch form, pre-dated their glass equivalents.  

    黃水晶八角形鼻煙壺

    無瑕黃水晶;掏膛規整,平唇, 平斂底突出圈足,圈足底全面接觸地面
    擬為御製品,大概為宮廷作坊製品,北京,1660–1820
    高﹕ 6.3厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.59/1.52 及 1.48 厘米 (橢圓形)
    蓋﹕ 珊瑚;閃玉座

    狀態敘述: 唇內緣呈微小的缺口,圈足亦呈兩個,其中之一個缺口部分地磨平的,上邊的一角、近頸和近底的一棱都呈細小的咬痕

    來源:
    Joseph Baruch Silver
    香港佳士得,1991年10月1、2日,拍賣品號 1163

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 205
    Treasury 2, 編號 234

    展覽﹕
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷, 1987年冬
    香港藝術館,1994年3月~6月
    National Museum of Singapore,1994年11月~1995年2月

    很多雕琢小平面的鼻煙壺是宮廷作坊製作的。本壺造型、掏膛、刻面技術等都是精彩的。最近幾十年前, 雕琢小平面的水晶鼻煙壺稀少,所以本壺可算是比較珍貴的。早期的黃水晶煙壺寥寥無幾,但1960年代以來出 現了許多的黃水晶煙壺,顏色有時更鮮亮,或有淺浮雕仿古圖案。
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