17501900 Sold with accompanying watercolour by Peter Suart 6.99cm high.
Treasury 3, no. 400
A limestone snuff bottle
Fossiliferous limestone; reasonably well hollowed, with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim 17501900 Height: 6.99 cm Mouth/lip: 0.65/1.55 cm Stopper: jadeite; vinyl collar
Condition: Possible tiny trim to a chip in the inner footrim; otherwise, workshop condition
Illustration: Watercolour by Peter Suart
Provenance: Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1985)
Published: Treasury 3, no. 400
Limestone covers a family of stone where calcite is the principal ingredient. In its crystalline form it is marble, of which one variety is known to the snuff-bottle collector as aragonite, while in its sedimentary form it acquires all sorts of different names. As a rule, snuff-bottle collectors tend to refer to most of this material as fossilized coral, which much of it probably is. The structure here would certainly be consistent with coral fossils . The stone was, we think, indigenous to China and probably available from at least the eighteenth century onwards, although it is another material that is so rarely found outside of snuff bottles that it must owe its popularity to this Qing art form. As far as we know, nothing predating the Qing period is known from the stone, although its softness and fragility might mitigate against an extant body of works surviving from the Ming or earlier, assuming they were rare to begin with.
This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.
ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.
If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.
Buyers' Premium and Charges
For all Sales categories excluding Wine:
Buyer's Premium Rates 25% up to HK$1,200,000 of the Hammer Price 20% from HK$1,200,001 to HK$20,000,000 of the Hammer Price 12% over HK$20,000,001 of the Hammer Price.
For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.