A bronze 'dragons' snuff bottle The Shunzhi Bronze Forger, 1830–1920
Lot 69
A bronze 'dragons' snuff bottle The Shunzhi Bronze Forger, 1830–1920
Sold for HK$ 12,500 (US$ 1,612) inc. premium
Lot Details
A bronze 'dragons' snuff bottle
The Shunzhi Bronze Forger, 1830–1920
5.66cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 7, no. 1617

    青銅雲龍紋鼻煙壺
    順治青銅煙壺偽造師,1830~1920

    A bronze 'dragons' snuff bottle

    Bronze; with a flat lip and protruding flat foot; moulded in two halves joined vertically at the narrow sides; with raised panels on four sides, those on the main sides acting as flat integral snuff dishes; the main-side panels undecorated and surrounded by an engraved design of confronting four-clawed dragons, their bodies stamped to indicate scales, amidst formalized clouds with a flaming pearl between them above the panel and further clouds at the base, the narrow-side panels engraved with flowers, with formalized flames above and below the panels; the foot engraved in regular script Shunzhi yuannian Cheng Rongzhang zao (Made by Cheng Rongzhang in the first year of the Shunzhi period) with one seal of the artist, Rong
    The Shunzhi Bronze Forger, 1830–1920
    Height: 5.66 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.70/1.67 cm
    Stopper: amethyst; gilt-bronze collar

    Condition: Vertical scratch in central panel, some surface abrasions from use; otherwise, workshop condition

    Provenance:
    Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1991)

    Published:
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 287
    Kleiner 1995, no. 362
    Treasury 7, no. 1617

    Exhibited:
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum of Singapore, November 1994–January 1995
    British Museum, London, June–October 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

    The group of bronze snuff bottles dated to the first ten years of the Shunzhi reign (and, therefore, of Manchu rule over China) was generally accepted as genuine among collectors until the last decade of the twentieth century. The present consensus, however, is that they are likely to be late-Qing wares produced by an extremely clever faker working, no doubt, primarily for a collectors' market. If the bottles themselves are fakes, we have no way of knowing whether the name Cheng Rongzhang is that of the maker or simply an invented name, so we have coined for him the name 'Shunzhi Bronze Forger.'

    This example is one of the few bearing a seal as well as a signature. The seal, Rong, is part of the name the forger used. Although we do not have reliable details of the inscriptions on every recorded bottle, two others have seals (although both are Cheng, the family name, rather than Rong). One of them is dated to the sixth year of Shunzhi, the other to the ninth.
    When of bronze, Cheng Rongzhang bottles are constructed of two moulded halves soldered together along the narrow sides. Many metal smiths in China who worked in bronze also produced copper wares, and as often as not they would beat the copper wares into shape from sheets of metal. At least two of the bottles from the Cheng Rongzhang group are in beaten copper.

    青銅雲龍紋鼻煙壺

    青銅;平唇,突出平底,四面有凸起的開光,正面的兩面開光起鼻煙碟作用,其周圍刻雲龍紋,龍有四爪、其身戳鱗紋,側面開光刻花朵紋,上下刻三出火焰紋;底刻"順治元年程榮章造"四行楷款,後加"榮"印
    順治青銅煙壺偽造師,1830–1920
    高﹕ 5.66 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.70/1.67 厘米
    蓋﹕ 紫晶, 鎏金青銅座

    狀態敘述:一開光呈直垂的刮痕,表面因使用而有所擦傷;此外,出坊狀態

    來源:
    Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1991)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 287
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 362
    Treasury 7, 編號 1617

    展覽﹕
    香港藝術館,1994年3月~6月
    National Museum of Singapore, November 1994–January 1995
    大英博物館, 1995年6月~10月
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7月~月11月

    我們不知道程榮章是這一批青銅鼻煙壺的偽造者的名子還是虛擬的,所以我們歸功於虛擬的順治青銅煙壺偽造師。只有另兩件署印,但它們都是"程",不是"榮"。一件帶順治六年的 絕對記年款,一件帶順治九年的。

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