An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle 1780–1920
Lot 79
An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle 1780–1920
Sold for HK$ 50,000 (US$ 6,445) inc. premium

Lot Details
An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle 1780–1920 An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle 1780–1920 An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle 1780–1920 An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle 1780–1920 An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle 1780–1920
An inkstone 'cicada' snuff bottle
1780–1920
6.95cm long.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 3, no. 396

    端石蟬形鼻煙壺

    A shale 'cicada' snuff bottle

    Shale; adequately but not extensively hollowed; carved in the form of a cicada
    1780–1920
    Length: 6.95 cm
    Mouth: 0.54 cm
    Stopper: turquoise

    Condition: Minor nibbling to the edges of the wings; general abrasions through use of the soft stone. General relative condition: good

    Provenance:
    Jana Volf
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1994)

    Published:
    Treasury 3, no. 396

    This is unique both as form and material among inkstone bottles. The cicada is known in a variety of other materials and was obviously a popular snuff-bottle form (see Sale 2, lot 34 for just one example). A piece of layered shale, or inkstone, has been cut diagonally so that the layers of different colour provide curving forms through the body of the bottle, which is spectacularly laid out so that the back of the head is made up of concentric circles natural to the stone, and the wings have sweeping curves in contrasting colours, adding considerable energy to the form.

    The material may be from Duanzhou, about 40 km west of Guangzhou (Canton). Although Duanstone, a prized material for making the stones on which one grinds ink sticks with a little water, is typically of a purplish-brown range of colours, there are many varieties. Certainly the brown layers alone would be classified as Duanstone without hesitation, but there were other mines for this range of inkstone material, and we cannot be absolutely certain of a Duan source for this striated variety of the stone.

    Jana Volf, well known to snuff-bottle enthusiasts for her catalogues for the Chinese Porcelain Company in New York, had a very small group of bottles that she kept for herself, amongst which this was a favourite. Sophisticated aesthetes like Jana tend to become very much a part of their art objects, and in that sense Jana still resides in this compelling little work of art.

    頁石蟬形鼻煙壺

    頁岩;掏膛適當而不徹底,雕蟬形
    1780–1920
    長: 6.95 厘米
    口徑﹕ 0.54 厘米
    蓋﹕ 綠松石

    狀態敘述: 翼邊緣呈微乎其微的咬痕,因石料不堅硬,壺表面呈擦傷。 一般性相對的狀態:善

    來源:
    Jana Volf
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1994)

    文獻﹕
    Treasury 3, 編號 396

    在端石鼻煙壺當中,本壺的形式和石料都是獨特的。蟬子當然是很受歡迎的主題 (第二場拍賣會, 拍賣品號 34 是個例子) 。有橫斜棕黃色紋理,紋理與形式結合,給人鮮活靈旳美感。但這石料是不是端州來的很難說。端石有很多種類,但端州以外還有頁石礦坑。
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