A carved white porcelain 'dragons' snuff bottle Li Yucheng, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1820–1870
Lot 8
A carved white porcelain 'dragons' snuff bottle Li Yucheng, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1820–1870
Sold for HK$ 137,500 (US$ 17,732) inc. premium
Lot Details
A carved white porcelain 'dragons' snuff bottle
Li Yucheng, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1820–1870
5.74cm high.


  • Treasury 6, no. 1362


    A moulded white porcelain 'dragons' snuff bottle

    White and black glazes on porcelain; with a slightly convex lip and protruding foot; carved with a continuous design of two Imperial five-clawed dragons, one facing left on one main side of the bottle, the other turning right on the other side, both chasing the same flaming pearl on one narrow side, the pearl's hole and design making it resemble a bi disc, with a background of wispy, formalized clouds and flames above a band of formalized waves; the foot engraved in seal script, Yucheng; all exterior surfaces except the lip glazed; the interior unglazed
    Probably Imperial, Li Yucheng, Jingdezhen, 1820–1870
    Height: 5.74 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.7/1.5 cm
    Stopper: coral; pearl finial; vinyl collar

    Condition: Two miniscule chips either side of one dragon's upper lip, not obtrusive; otherwise, kiln condition

    Jade House (1985)

    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 193
    Treasury 6, no. 1362

    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum of Singapore, November 1994–February 1995

    Although it has a better set of teeth and a more worried expression, the dragon here can be associated stylistically with others by Wang Bingrong (Sale 1, lot 112; Sale 2, lot 102); it may be that Wang influenced Li, but since the dates of neither are known with any accuracy, we can only guess. There is a tendency to see Wang as the instigator of the style, simply because he made far more exemplars of it than Li did, but all this really suggests is that Wang was the more successful artist commercially and better at attracting Imperial orders, if yellow glazes and five-clawed dragons are anything to go by. With its five-clawed dragon, we may assume that this, too, was made for the court, probably during the Daoguang reign. Features that obviously differ from the Wang Bingrong versions include the presence of twice as many dragons, a base band of formalized waves, and a very distinctive flaming pearl that seems to double as a bi disc.

    Li Yucheng was another of the potters of the broader group about whom the records are silent; he is known to us only through his wares. (although it has been suggested that a typographical error obscured one mention of Li that ranked him alongside Chen Guozhi and Wang Bingrong; see Miller and Hui 2006, p. 343). His works are considerably rarer than Wang Bingrong's. Like the others, though, he produced a series of literati items other than snuff bottles. In the Baur Collection is a seal-ink box and cover with a floral design and a transparent glaze (Ayers 1974, vol. 4, plate A661), and in Fung Ping Shan Museum 1978 there were three brush pots, one in pale yellow, one in pale green, and one, not illustrated, in apple-green (nos. 17–19). Several of his wares are illustrated in Miller and Hui 2006, indexed on p. 342. There is also a small group of snuff bottles recorded, one of which is in Miller and Hui 2006, no. 94, from the Denis Low Collection. On most of his wares he signed his full name, including the family name, whereas both those in the Bloch Collection are signed with the abbreviated form (see Sale 2, lot 29).


    瓷胎上白、黑釉; 微凸唇,突出底,雕通體兩隻五爪龍搶珠紋,火珠為璧形,底 陰刻"裕成"篆款,除了唇以外,表面都施釉,內壁不施釉
    大概官窯燒製,李裕成,景德鎮, 1820–1870
    高﹕ 5.74 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.7/1.5 厘米
    蓋﹕ 珊瑚;珍珠頂飾,乙烯基座


    Jade House (1985)

    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 193
    Treasury 6, 編號 1362

    National Museum, 新加坡,1994年11月~1995年2月

    李裕成雕的龍跟王炳榮的風格好像是關聯的 (第一場拍賣會, 拍賣品號 112; 第二場拍賣會, 拍賣品號 102),但不知道是誰影響了誰。本壺跟王炳榮的地方包括﹕他添加了一隻龍,腹下有波濤紋一圈,火焰珠是玉璧形的。因為是五爪龍,這件壺大概是道光年間給宮廷作的。

    李裕成現存的作品比王炳榮的少得多。 不過,除了鼻煙壺以外,還他作了一系列的文具。Baur 珍藏收藏一個印泥盒 (Ayers 1974, 第四冊,插圖A661); 馮平山博物館1978 有三個筆筒 (編號 17–19)。還有Miller and Hui 2006, 示列的作品,見頁342的索引。有記錄的李裕成製鼻煙壺有如Miller and Hui 2006, 編號 94。他平常署"李裕成"三個字,但博氏珍藏所收兩件只刻"裕成"二字。(參閱第二場拍賣會, 拍賣品號 29)。
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